Partial obedience is disobedience

God freely gives us all things which are necessary for both the spiritual and the natural life. We often lightly regard these things and offer no thanks to God for them. If God were to bestow spiritual blessings upon the natural person, they would not be able to appreciate them, and would consequently disobey Him. God requires from us 100% obedience to His word. Disobedience of any magnitude is inexcusable in the Kingdom of God.

If a blessing were conferred upon a person without a special readiness for it, he or she would neither value it sufficiently nor long retain it. This has been made perfectly clear in the account of Saul who once became the King of Israel. Now Saul’s problem was his inferiority complex. In spite of his big size, he felt as inferior as a tiny little kitten. When he met Samuel and Samuel said, “God has chosen you,” the first thing Saul said was, “Who am I? Who is my father’s house? I come from the smallest family of the smallest tribe.”

God spoke saying that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon Saul and turn him into another man because the anointing transforms the vessel it flows through. Two key phrases follow this promise: 1. “God gave him another heart.” 2. “Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and He prophesied among them” [the prophets]. Saul was given an opportunity to become all that Israel needed him to be, (a king with a new heart), and learn to do all he needed to do, (hear from God and declare His words-prophesy). Christ-like character can never be fully developed without serving under the anointing. Anointed ministry brings us into contact with the power needed for personal transformation.

When the Spirit of God came on Saul, he began to show traits out of character with his personality. However, do not forget that the anointing never contradicts the written Word. The Word of God in Saul’s time did not permit him as a king to offer sacrifices. Even though he had been commanded to “do as the occasion demands,” the scriptures took for granted that he understood that this was to be done within the context of the Word. Doing as the occasion demands does not mean that you go against the written Word. Saul thought that God was going to be pleased because he had at least remembered to offer a sacrifice to God before going to war.

King Saul was again told by God through the prophet Samuel to make war against the enemies and to kill every one of them-people and animals alike. Saul partially obeyed. He defeated the enemies but allowed the men to keep the best animals. He felt that partial obedience was still obedience. But it is not! It is still disobedience. Never rationalize your disobedience. Saul gave his reason for keeping the sheep.

He felt it was smarter financially to keep them than to destroy them. But the prophet explains: “God does not need the money. He would rather you obey than earn Him cash’For rebellion is like the sin of divination and arrogance like the evil of idolatry”. Disobedience opens doors to evil spirits to come into one’s life. It should not surprise us to find that King Saul started to be tormented by an evil spirit after these acts of disobedience.

When Saul disregarded the Divine command about the Amalekites, Samuel announced to him that his office would be bestowed upon another. Many who are reading this article cannot explain the attack of evil spirits upon their lives. They are depressed, fearful and filled with anxiety. Demons have come and now they want the demons to leave. They will not leave until you submit to God’s authority.

This is a tragic story that illustrates the awful consequences of rebellion. Saul obtained the Holy Spirit and kingship without seeking for them and soon lost them both.

The Bible says that he had set out from home not to obtain the Holy Spirit but to look for his lost assess. Since he did not sweat for these things, he did not attach much value to them.

There were several reasons for the choice of Saul as king. He had distinguished himself as a military hero in the unfortunate engagement of the Philistines with Israel under the leadership of the sons of Eli. Besides, Saul possessed unusual beauty, a choice young man, and was the most handsome among the children of Israel.

As outward appearance is usually deceptive, a closer analysis of his personality revealed a compromiser and a man who was always looking for an opportunity to cut corners when it comes to obeying the law of God. He forgot that one may not cut corners on the highway of holiness. Many Christians have destroyed their faith and lives simply because they lived lives of partial obedience to God.

Their lives are concluded with something similar to the popular lamentation of David, “How the mighty have fallen! Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice’How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle!” Always remember that perfect obedience is the key to true prosperity, but partial obedience leads to demotion in the Kingdom of God.


December 2006
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