Total Obedience is costly, while Convenient Obedience is very dangerous.
What is convenient obedience?
Convenient Obedience is the response we often exchange for wholehearted obedience, it is when believer(s) turn to God’s prompting but fail to follow through God’s instructions because they are at odds with what we want to do.
Let us examine 1 Sam 15:1-3; King Saul received God’s instruction through Prophet Samuel, Verse 3 says; Now, go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare not them; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. God’s instruction was very clear here, and God will not lower the price for anyone who opts for convenience or conformity rather than obedience. God said destroy ALL leaving NOTHING…
My Questions Is Why Do We Often Fail At This?
Why do we resist having to destroy all without sparing anything? Perhaps it’s not EASY for some, some may not want to do it because it’s HARD, for some it COSTS MUCH, or peradventure some are like Felix who said to Paul, “Go thy way for this time; when I have a CONVENIENT season, I will call for thee. Acts 24:25
There may be a million reasons why we do not obey God wholeheartedly. Interestingly, God will never lower the price to be paid to for us to obey Him.
Permit Me To Share This With You!
When you study 1 Sam 15:3 (KJV); you will find that in today, there are believer(s), preacher(s) and minister(s) who would only destroy some but spare their women, some will destroy everything else but spare their infant and suckling, some will destroy everything else but spare ox, sheep, camel, and ass, do you know that some will not even destroy the enemy and all that was in the land? Not Surprising Right?! And that’s exactly what King Saul did, he was SELECTIVE in hearing and CONVENIENT in obeying God’s instructions.
Let us read 1 Sam 15:9 (KJV); But Saul spared Agag (an enemy), the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and of the lambs and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuses, that they destroyed utterly.
Why O King Saul, Why? Why did you make a subsequent convenient choice to be selective in your hearing? Why did you choose to be convenient in obedience? This is a familiar territory to many of us, we ONLY adhere to GOD’S instructions as long as it’s in favor of our MOTIVES and the INTENT of our hearts. We adhere if the instructions won’t COST MUCH, we adhere if the instructions are EASY, we adhere if the instructions go by our TIMETABLE or come at a CONVENIENT TIME!
According to Luke 18:18-23 (KJV); a young rich ruler came to Jesus asking what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus looked into this man’s heart and saw covetousness. Jesus told him to sell what he had and follow Him. Notice the man’s reaction: “And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich”Verse 23; he refused to obey Jesus because it COST TOO MUCH.
Here is a classic example of many who counts the cost when it comes to obeying God, for these sets of people wholehearted obedience is rather capital intensive and they are not willing to pay the cost. Can you notice something here?!….
How did our Savior JESUS CHRIST respond to this man’s objection? JESUS CHRIST let the man walk away and did not lower the price to get the man to come back.
Really? Yes, really!!!
Let us take a look at John 6:60 (KJV); “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, this is a HARD saying; who can hear it?”
Here is another classic example of many who thought that Jesus’s teaching was hard, they did not like what they heard! Similarly, some today will “obey” the things they agree with but not the things they disagree with. Some will not accept or condone the sin of murder or a murderer but will justify the sin of lies or a liar. This truly is hard teachings to them and they will not obey!
Convenient Obedience is what we do each time we make a subsequent choice to be selective in hearing God’s instructions, and be convenient in obeying Him. When we continue to live this way, over time we develop a tendency to celebrate obedience but what we have done is to conveniently conform or conveniently obey God’s instructions as long as it suits us! Now, GOD is against this idea!
Such is the case in 1 Sam 15:13 (KJV); And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
O really, King Saul?! Saul was celebrating his obedience when all he did was to be selective in hearing and be convenient with God’s instructions. For all he cares, he was only interested in destroying the bad stuff and keeping the seeming good stuff. He failed to acknowledge that the obedience that matters most, is choosing God’s ways whether or not they are at odds with what we want to do.
When we decide to turn to God’s prompting and follow through His instructions, most times than not it conflicts with our self-knowledge or awareness, it contradicts our moral standards, it challenges our motives & exposes our desires, and it hinders our reflex to avenge a real or perceived wrong situation.
Isiah 55:8-9(KJV); or my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God ways aren’t familiar to man. As a matter of fact, His paths are ancient paths, it’s too narrow for man, it is not convenient, it does not fit into man’s plans, and man has become too fat in his own ways to fit into God until we shed those fats. Remember, we must shed it ALL to fit into HIS path. Otherwise, what we are doing is living a life of selective and convenient obedience, yet convinced that we are obedience to HIM.
Are you a Christ follower? Then, you need to determine that 2018 and beyond you will only follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.