The bible says, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”
Oftentimes God uses strange vessels. A burning bush. A talking donkey. But what about us? How does He use His people?
Obedience sometimes comes with a higher price than sacrifice. Take for instance, the heartache suffered by Hosea when he married the harlot Gomer, the persecution of the first Christians when they preached the gospel, Peter criticized by the church for obeying the vision and going to Cornelius’s house, Jeremiah put in a pit for prophesying the truth, or the prophets of old punished and killed.
What about Phillip? Have you ever wondered why the early church didn’t reprimand him for preaching to the Samaritans? Was it because the Samaritans were half Jews? I don’t know. But I do know that when we obey God, we sometimes face persecution from the world and from the church.
One night, in a service years ago, the Spirit was moving and God told me to open the double doors to the entrance of the church. Immediately, Satan whispered in my ears, “Don’t.” He named three people and told me what they would think if I obeyed God. One would complain about the cool air escaping into the night. Another would be angry because of the insects entering the sanctuary, and yet another would worry about the young children wandering outside.
When I told God that I couldn’t open the doors because people would be mad, he didn’t contradict me. He didn’t tell me that everyone would be happy and applaud my efforts. No. He said some people won’t like it, but do it anyway.
I did. And he poured out an awesome blessing that night. A few nights later, I learned that the three people did complain about the wasted electricity, the bugs, and the danger to the children. (Though none escaped into the night.)
With this blog post, I’m reminding myself of God’s words. With everything that he’s done for me, how could I choose to do what men say over what God says? And though some people will complain, I will obey God and I won’t apologize.