presumption is as iniquity

Today's devotion from 1 Samuel 15.

Mornings are often a struggle in our home that seem to simply boil over from the night before. Usually, the kids fuss about having to go to bed. The result is that they often lay in bed and giggle and talk late after they should have been asleep. In the morning, they are groggy and unwilling to get out of bed. Then, they don't want to get ready. It's a struggle to get them to put on their clothing, brush their teeth, and fix their hair. Fortunately, they don't all three balk on the same mornings. It's usually one or the other, but rarely all three.

However, what makes the situation even worse is when one decides to "help" us parent. They fuss at their siblings, which causes fights. They nag and tease. They prowl and prance. All I want them to do is get themselves ready and get into the vehicle, but ever so often one, in attempting to "help" does things that just makes the problem worse. Then I launch, yet again, into a tirade explaining that if they really wanted to help, they would just do what I asked them to do.

This brings us to Saul. In this event, he was presumptuous. We can't know the intentions of his heart. Some think his motivation was greed at the sight of the fattened livestock. However, I give him the benefit of the doubt. I think he truly wanted to honor God with a sacrifice. The problem was that God cannot be honored by disobedience. He can receive glory from the strangest of places, but if we truly want to honor Him we must begin with obedience.

Samuel's words are cutting, "Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?" Best intentions never outweigh honest obedience. There are so many things that might seem good and honorable to us, but they will never replace the power and beauty of simply doing what God has said to do.

Today as you go about your day, try to be intentional in making your life simpler. Try not to overthink your attitudes and actions. Just do what God commands and presume nothing else.