And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:22).
When you’re given spiritual instructions, it’s so important that you not only understand them but also act on them. For example, a minister may give an instruction in a congregation that those who want to give their hearts to Christ should stand up and come forward. If someone in that congregation who wants to be born again refuses to stand up and step out, thinking, “Must I go out there? I can give my heart to Christ right here,” he’s already acted in disobedience to that instruction of the Spirit and is most unlikely to leave that place born again.
The Bible says God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Pride can be very difficult to define, but one of the best ways to identify it is when there’s a resistance to authority. That’s because pride always leads to disobedience. And resistance to spiritual authority is one of the things the Spirit of God warns us strictly against.
Remember King Saul of Israel. God had instructed through Samuel the prophet that Israel spare none but completely annihilate the Amalekites and all their livestock. But Saul and the people kept alive Agag the King of Amalek and the best livestock they found in the land. Saul had an intelligent reason for disobeying the instruction; he said he kept the best livestock because the people wanted to offer them as a sacrifice to God. But Saul’s responsibility as king was to ensure the people obeyed God, so God wasn’t pleased with his reason. As a consequence of His disobedience, Saul lost the throne of Israel and the kingdom was removed from his lineage.
When Saul disobeyed God’s instruction, Samuel told him, “…to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken (listen to and heed instructions) than the fat of rams.” The Spirit of God is giving you the same admonition today. Therefore, when spiritual instruction is given, obey it, for in your obedience lies your blessing.