Are you ready to hear how God speaks to you? Are you prepared to be a student of the Word?
God has often warned us about the dangers of sin, and we will not take His advice. When we ignore God, we find ourselves in sin and sometimes wonder later why we are in such a mess. Even though we cause the sin, we can see how sin erodes us and our lives.
We have to recognize the warnings that God gives each of us when it comes to sin. He will not let you off the hook if you are willfully disobedient. He will forgive you, yes, but God will always punish sin–there are consequences.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. 13 And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness.
Each of us knows when sin occurs. You are not just doing what you want to do, but in reality you are subject to the sin itself. You are actually following the desires of Satan, and they will ultimately lead to unhappiness. We often have a problem calling out sin for what it is. Sin is a choice. It is your will and you choice to offer yourself to do what is pleasing to God or what is sinful.
If you allow sin to live within you, it will effect you emotionally. It will, over time, destroy you.
Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
18 For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things.
There comes a point where willful sin is in direct opposition to the saving blood of Jesus Christ, and there is nothing good that comes from this. Sin, for example, will cause you to feel emotional loss and turn you away from those who are close to you. It is the emotional response that sometimes overcomes reason, wisdom and knowledge. As a result, the mind is to always focus on heavenly things, kingdom things, and godly things–not on earthly or worldly matters. God wants you to focus on His Word and His will for your life.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
4 Finally then, brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us how you must walk and please God—as you are doing—do so even more. 2 For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is God’s will, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality, 4 so that each of you knows how to control his own body in sanctification and honor, 5 not with lustful desires, like the Gentiles who don’t know God. 6 This means one must not transgress against and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger of all these offenses, as we also previously told and warned you. 7 For God has not called us to impurity but to sanctification. 8 Therefore, the person who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who also gives you His Holy Spirit.
God gives us the instruction manual for life–the bible. It covers the basics for life. The Holy Spirit is given to all believers to help fill in the details for living that are in line with Scripture that go beyond the basics. Even with this instruction, a believer still needs to trust and believe in God’s Word in order to please God. You make the choice to live for Christ in order to please Him.
1 Samuel 10:8
Afterward, go ahead of me to Gilgal. I will come to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice fellowship offerings. Wait seven days until I come to you and show you what to do.”
Note the instructions that Saul was given to wait for Samuel…now go to 1 Samuel 13:8:
1 Samuel 13:8
He waited seven days for the appointed time that Samuel had set, but Samuel didn’t come to Gilgal, and the troops were deserting him.
Samuel did not arrive when Saul expected him to, but if the instructions are to wait, then you should wait. Saul took matters into his own hands and committed sin because he responded to his emotions and was disobedient to God (only priests were allowed to submit burnt offerings).
1 Samuel 13:9-12
9 So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” Then he offered the burnt offering.
10 Just as he finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. So Saul went out to greet him, 11 and Samuel asked, “What have you done?”
Saul answered, “When I saw that the troops were deserting me and you didn’t come within the appointed days and the Philistines were gathering at Michmash, 12 I thought: The Philistines will now descend on me at Gilgal, and I haven’t sought the Lord’s favor. So I forced myself to offer the burnt offering.”
Saul felt that he was compelled to respond from his own desires. He was looking at men and not at God. For his disobedience, there is a consequence.
1 Samuel 13:13-14
13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have been foolish. You have not kept the command which the Lord your God gave you. It was at this time that the Lord would have permanently established your reign over Israel, 14 but now your reign will not endure. The Lord has found a man loyal to Him, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not done what the Lord commanded.”
1 Samuel 15:1-3
15 Samuel told Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over His people Israel. Now, listen to the words of the Lord. 2 This is what the Lord of Hosts says: ‘I witnessed what the Amalekites did to the Israelites when they opposed them along the way as they were coming out of Egypt. 3 Now go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Do not spare them. Kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”
Yet Saul does not follow the instructions that God has given, and he actually begins praising himself for the things that he accomplished:
1 Samuel 15:7-12
7 Then Saul struck down the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is next to Egypt. 8 He captured Agag king of Amalek alive, but he completely destroyed all the rest of the people with the sword. 9 Saul and the troops spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, cattle, and choice animals, as well as the young rams and the best of everything else. They were not willing to destroy them, but they did destroy all the worthless and unwanted things.
10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, 11 “I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned away from following Me and has not carried out My instructions.” So Samuel became angry and cried out to the Lord all night.
12 Early in the morning Samuel got up to confront Saul, but it was reported to Samuel, “Saul went to Carmel where he set up a monument for himself. Then he turned around and went down to Gilgal.”
Saul also had difficulty in taking responsibility for what he had done.
1 Samuel 15:13-19
13 When Samuel came to him, Saul said, “May the Lord bless you. I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”
14 Samuel replied, “Then what is this sound of sheep and cattle I hear?”
15 Saul answered, “The troops brought them from the Amalekites and spared the best sheep and cattle in order to offer a sacrifice to the Lord your God, but the rest we destroyed.”
16 “Stop!” exclaimed Samuel. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”
“Tell me,” he replied.
17 Samuel continued, “Although you once considered yourself unimportant, have you not become the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel 18 and then sent you on a mission and said: ‘Go and completely destroy the sinful Amalekites. Fight against them until you have annihilated them.’ 19 So why didn’t you obey the Lord? Why did you rush on the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?”
In spite of Saul’s excuses, his disobedience showed that he was not truly following God.
1 Samuel 15:20-25
20 “But I did obey the Lord!” Saul answered. “I went on the mission the Lord gave me: I brought back Agag, king of Amalek, and I completely destroyed the Amalekites. 21 The troops took sheep and cattle from the plunder—the best of what was set apart for destruction—to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
22 Then Samuel said:
Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
Look: to obey is better than sacrifice,
to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and defiance is like wickedness and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He has rejected you as king.
24 Saul answered Samuel, “I have sinned. I have transgressed the Lord’s command and your words. Because I was afraid of the people, I obeyed them. 25 Now therefore, please forgive my sin and return with me so I can worship the Lord.”
The Lord delights in your praises but He truly desires is your obedience. If you are obedient to Him and to His Word. Disobedience to God is indeed sin, and there is a cost for transgression. If you look at Saul’s life, you begin to see Saul’s deterioration emotionally with his fear and jealousy of David (1 Samuel 18). Saul later became angry with Jonathan and his wife (1 Samuel 20). His sin continued to progress to a point where he lost control and had a priest killed (1 Samuel 22). Finally, in 1 Samuel 28, he calls not on God, but on a medium. His sin ultimately cost the life of himself and his two sons.
1 Samuel 31:1-6
1 The Philistines fought against Israel, and Israel’s men fled from them. Many were killed on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons and killed his sons, Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua. 3 When the battle intensified against Saul, the archers caught up with him and severely wounded him. 4 Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through with it, or these uncircumcised men will come and run me through and torture me.” But his armor-bearer would not do it because he was terrified. Then Saul took his sword and fell on it. 5 When his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his own sword and died with him. 6 So on that day, Saul died together with his three sons, his armor-bearer, and all his men.
Sin will destroy you and others if it is unchecked and unresolved. It is very important to heed the warnings that God gives us about it and provides us instructions on ways that we can live in holiness and righteousness before Him. God wants us to run from sin and hate it for what it does to us and to those we know. Sin can rob you of many things, but it is especially damaging to your relationship with God, and it robs you of having joy in The Lord. It can keep you from being all that you can be in Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that you be all you can be in Christ and to be peaceful, joyous and righteousness in your service for Him.