THE COST OF SPARING THE GOOD THINGS

by Rodney W. Francis

In 1 Samuel 15 we have the revealing story of the cost of not fully obeying the voice of the Lord. The first king of Israel, Saul, was
instructed by God to “Go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them” (v.3). Saul heard what God had spoken to him, yet we discover that he was only partially obedient to the command. As we read through the chapter we discover that Saul’s decision to “spare the good things” was to prove very costly for him and his people.

When Samuel the prophet was sent to reprove Saul, we find
that Saul was confessing that he had indeed obeyed the Lord.
But he was in deception ~ the good things of the Amalekites
had deceived him. You will also notice that Saul was hiding
behind a form of spirituality by declaring that they had spared
the good things to “sacrifice to the Lord” (v. 15). How
interesting that human nature seeks to cover its disobedience
to God by declaring the result of that disobedience is “for the
Lord”!! But God is not mocked, and God is not fooled by
our covetousness and desires for “sparing the good things.”
It is recorded: “But Saul and the people spared Agag (king
of the Amalekites) and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the
fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling
to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless,
that they utterly destroyed” (1 Samuel 15:9). As a result, God
said to the Prophet Samuel, “I greatly regret that I have set up
Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has
not performed My commandments” (v. 10-11). Saul paid a huge
price for his disobedience that day:

1. He lost his anointing

2. He lost his respect, and

3. He lost his kingship (ruling authority).

Things changed that day for Saul because of his pride in thinking
he knew better than God. Like most disobedient leaders, he blamed
the people for his rebellion against the voice of the Lord.

The “good things” that he spared were the very things that found
him out ~ the “bleating of the sheep” (v. 14)!

In summing up His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made this
statement to His listeners: “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’
and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:47). He then went
on to tell us of the wise and foolish man. The wise man was wise
because he listened to Jesus and obeyed what He said; while the
foolish man only listened to Jesus, but did not apply and do what
He said. The difference between the two men was success for
the wise man and total loss for the foolish man. Maybe the foolish
man “spared the good things”, like Saul did?

The foolish man paid a very high price for his disobedience!

This is a huge challenge and lesson for every Christian today. So
many of us are wanting to have the “good things” of life, but if God
has asked us to sacrifice them for His sake, then we need to do
that, because God always has our best at heart ~ He wants us to
enjoy the best, but with His way of providing it, and in a way that
He gets the glory. This message explains one reason why the
Christian Church seems to be so powerless in these days ~ not
much anointing, not much respect, and not much authority. We
have spared the good things ~ things that God wants us to give
up for Him. We have compromised with the ways of the world,
and it has cost us dearly. In Christianity, “having the best of
both worlds” does not work! God is trying to get us to the place
where we will totally trust whatever He says to us, and that we
will obey Him without question ~ because we have learned that
“the Word of the Lord is right”; that there is nothing more sure
and accurate than that which God speaks. But we have to trust
and obey what He says in order to see the fulfilment of His
promises to us! And that means a total commitment to
whatever He says.

GOD TESTS Our COMMITMENT

We need to know that God does test our commitment to Him.
When we say that He comes first in our lives, then He will test
us to see if we really do put Him first before anyone and
everything else. When we demonstrate to God that He is, indeed,
“Number One” and we value Him above all else, then He can trust
us with assignments that clearly show the handiwork of God that
are accompanied by supernatural signs, wonders and miracles.
Let’s face it:
If we have the Living, Supernatural Jesus Christ residing within
us, then surely there should be some evidence of a Supernatural
God at work in and through us??!!

The world is sick of religion ~ it is crying out for a demonstration
of the risen, Living Lord Jesus Christ manifest in and amongst His
people. If we do not learn this lesson, then we will go the way of
Saul and finish up with nothing of eternal value to show for our lives.
Let the voice of God guide you into all truth, and into a life of total
commitment that has no regrets!

-Original Source-
http://gospel.org.nz/

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew on June 15th, 2014 at 10:20 am.

17 comments

17 Replies

  1. The difference between Saul and David was their HEART ATTITUDE. David’s sins were horrible and the sword did come to David’s house and never seemed to leave. However David had a God heart and though his sins were great, he constantly repented, admitted his sin and allowed God to deal with it. He grieved when he saw that the result of his sins cost the very lives of his people over and over.

    Saul never had a repentant heart, but a heart filled with self, always making excuses for his sin and was a people pleaser rather than one who desired to please God far more than the people. SAUL DID NOT HAVE A GOD HEART, BUT DAVID DID! He loved the finer things of life, and was a coward….loyal to no one. Whatever his flesh wanted, that is what controlled his actions.

    We have that in the churches today. We have a small Holy Remnant People and we have a flesh loving, Social Club loving people who love the things of earth rather than the things of God. The Holy Remnant are a tiny group across the earth, but with them can and is doing much that we have no idea of.

    We can preach forever to the Flesh Loving Church and it all falls on deaf ears. They do not have ears to hear and refuse to hear. They do not believe that “straight is the gate and NARROW is the Way and FEW there be that find it.

    We are so busy fussing over the Flesh driven Church when we need to understand that there is a blindness over their eyes for their hearts are hard. Their hearts are set and they are going to take as much of God as their flesh wants….they will go only so far and that is it. Powerless, they win no one to Christ nor even have time to pray and seek His face, rather listening to their half baked leaders who they pay well to tell them fables. And THEY ARE the ones who persecute the Remnant and will even turn them in to be Martyred eventually THINKING in their silly minds that they do God a favor in doing so.

    So do you have a Saul heart or a David heart. Are you a Remnant one who is willing to daily pick up your cross and follow Him NO MATTER THE COST? Which is it? Is YOUR heart already set like Saul’s or David’s?

  2. Andrew Aug 15th 2014

    Amen.

    And we know that Jesus spoke a great deal about “counting the cost” of being a true disciple. (eg. Luke 14).

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  3. Great thought provoking article. Joyce’s comment is worthy of its own post. You really got my attention with the Holy Remnant statements. I’m writing a screenplay The Holy Remnant right now.

  4. Thanks brother Donald and I will indeed pray for The Holy Spirit to lead you in a mighty way in your work that He has laid on your heart to do for Him. There is so much to be said to encourage the Holy Remnant people for they are so persecuted, and so often the Enemy comes to discourage us with it…..but together…from other Holy Remnant ones across the earth, we encourage each other and though are far apart in miles, we are close in Spirit.
    Blessings.

  5. Daniel Graves Aug 15th 2014

    The fruit of the Spirit is Supernatural. Galatians shows that crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires is related to a Supernatural God at work in and through us. Like the story about an atheist who saw his long time Christian friend and family interacting patiently, graciously, and sacrificially in the push and pull of the daily grind and reflecting on his own character thought, “I’ll never have that.” He saw God. The Spirit’s demonstration was breathtaking, undeniable, and irresistible destroying his arguments and lofty opinions – he came to Jesus!

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24

  6. Thank you for posting this. It was very thought provoking and very much on the mark of what is going on to day, just as it was when it happened. To those of us who only want to please the Lord to walk with Him in all His ways and do as He asks of us, this was very incouraging and up-lifting.Stand fast in the ways of Him who calls us. Pressing on to the mark of the high calling……
    Not that we don’t fall and sin but we get up and do as He has told us to. 1John 1-8&9. Thank you Lord Jesus for makeing the way.

    Thankful for you.

  7. Thank you for posting this. So true….am wondering what it will take to get the complete attention and obedience of the church.

  8. Reading the word of God today….aloud!
    Tears flow
    For I see that as He has not changed so has human nature not changed.
    Lord I cry for your grace and mercy!
    Oh, Lord, I cry….
    The battle is on the horizon
    I hear it coming
    I see, oh God, how I see
    The enemy is fierce
    And our soldiers are not ready for battle.
    They dance and sing and frolic and play
    Soft and undisciplined are they
    We, the church, are that army
    We are the army of The Lord
    And we are not in step with You or each other
    Mercy oh Lord, mercy as you put us in those hard places of life
    That put us in step
    That strengthen our spiritual muscles
    That hone our spiritual weapons
    That make us stand to the death and not turn tail and run
    Or fall in the mire and wallow
    Your blood bought army cries out in repentance
    Requesting, with fear and trembling oh Lord,
    Those hard disciplines of life that will
    Enable us to stand in your victory
    Faithful to the glorious end.
    Hand in hand with Jesus!
    Bringing many home with us!
    My heart cry! Oh Lord!

    Alta Flo Lewis
    Sent from my iPad

  9. Tenney Singer Aug 15th 2014

    Martyrdom is a real attention-getter. Miracles also cause people to sit up and take notice. Both are happening today. The martyrs are in the news daily. The miracles are not broadcast in media, but you can see the Church as it was in the Book of Acts by going to thelastreformation.com and seeing the Pioneer School videos, the travel clips of Torben Sondergaard and his family as they minister in different areas, bringing people to salvation, healing, and discipleship. Torben’s immediate encouragement of new believers to “go and do likewise” is amazing, and very different from the mindset of “going to church.” Hands-on, out in the streets, this is what the first believers and disciples did, and what the true Church needs to emulate. This kind of faith will overcome when the persecution hits.

  10. emissary Aug 15th 2014

    There are 2 verses in 1 Samuel 15, that I believe are very important to this discussion: 1Sa 15:20 And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the LORD. I have gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction.
    And: 1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.” Sha’ul interpreted the WORD of the LORD to make it fit his circumstance and the result was that the kingdom was taken from him. Sound like “christianity” that is preached and lived today?

  11. David Ortega Aug 15th 2014

    As I read this, I thought about our students who justify their tatoos, body piercings, and presence on week-ends at local rock jam sessions (not necessarily “Christian”) where drinking, hook-ups take place–all “to witness for the Lord”. They are so caught up in the trendy, “cool” youth culture that glorifies the self that many can’t, and some won’t, receive the challenge to consider what it means for believers to “be holy as God is holy”, and to “be in the world, but not part of it.” Grieve with me for our youth, as we continue to trust that God’s Word in the power of the Spirit will penetrate deceived hearts if we faithfully persevere teaching, admonishing, correcting, and training all within our sphere of influence.

  12. Thank you Andrew for posting this and for those who have already made insightful comments. I appreciate the word that Rodney has given us today as it confirms what I felt the Lord gave me in my own prayer closet in 1993. Kind regards, Anaru:

    “The Saul / David / Solomon / Rehoboam generations indicates 4 consecutive generations (or 4 seasons of relevance), that will follow in quick sequence in the body of Christ. These 4 generations express different characters traits within Christ’s body, prior to His return (The messianic expectations of 1&2 Chronicles reveals more of the character of Saul / David / Solomon / Rehoboam generations than 1&2 Kings).

    The Saul generation (the present church as we know it) – has received the Lords call to leadership. They possess an incredible ‘natural’ giftedness, yet they have been found unfaithful, disobedient, worldly, jealous and insecure. Saul leadership looks towards men and not to God for guidance. Sauls are always at war (with their own sinful nature) but never overcoming. The Saul generation will at first welcome but then persecute a new type of leader that God is raising up – the David generation. The David generation will overlap, the Saul generation. It will also eventually take its place in leadership in Christ’s body. Most of the present day leadership in the church, is Saulish and will be ‘removed’. The Lords judgement will fall upon it because of its continued disobedience and its devolved spirituality (i.e. its soulish charismata progressively manifesting as demonic deception).
    The David generation at first will not be as ‘attractive’ as the Saul generation. However it will be marked by a transparency, an honesty and an obedient submission to the Lord. They will be a “generation of blood” indicating that they will be victorious in their battles over their sinful natures within. Most will have come from broken pasts but will have learnt to overcome by surrendering their brokenness to the cross of Christ. They will unite the various disunited ‘tribes’ of Gods kingdom into one army fit for war – i.e. in their time expect the denominations to disappear completely into one body. And the beginning of the huge end-time harvests. They will also conquer the full boundaries of their allocated inheritance – which speaks of their lives lived in whole obedience to their master (holiness). The David generation will do wonderful exploits for Christ’s kingdom in the world (see David’s mighty men), yet they will not be permitted to reveal the full glory of their master. The scriptural reason given in Chronicles is that they have been a ‘kingdom of blood’ – which is to say that they have fought and overcome their sinful natures, and as such they have tasted the kingdom of darkness. This has disqualified them (as unfit vessels) to build the Lords temple (i.e. to fully reveal His glory on earth), but from the soil of their lives grows an excellent harvest for the next generation. Such a privilege will be given to their children. The Solomon generation.
    The Solomon generation is going to be a generation of ‘peace’, which just means that these children of David, will be raised up in the fear and admonition of the Lord – as godly seed. They will not have experienced the bloodshed of their parents generation. They will learn in their youth what it is to submit to the yoke of the Holy Spirit. The Lord has a real purpose in raising up this godly Seed. He wants to build his home, his temple here on earth in their lives. The Lord wants to dwell in children. When the Lord first told me this, I was asking Him to use me for His glory. Well In the middle of my ‘selfless’ prayer, the Lord told me to be quiet. He then told me to pray for my future children (years before I had even met my wife). I was a little upset at this, but he corrected me by saying “yes he would use me, but that he wasn’t going to reveal His ‘full’ glory in me”. He was wanting instead to reveal His glory in my children’s lives. He said that my life would be just like David who prepared the building materials necessary for Solomon to later construct and in time provide the dwelling where he would fully manifest His presence. Our Lord wants t o manifest himself in the corporate body of a holy people. This is his plan for the Solomon generation. The Lords concern for me was that I focus on bringing up my children in wise and godly ways. Another point to make about this generation is the incredible revelation that God will bring in their time, a wisdom that will even be recognised and valued even by the kingdoms of this world.
    The Rehoboam generation indicates that there will come a time when the body of Christ will move out of favour with the kingdoms of this world and eventually, because of persecutions, it will be separated off into two kingdoms. 10 tribes will be separated off accepting their own king (the AntiChrist) to lead them to destruction, whilst only 2 will remain loyal to Christ. This indicates that most of the church of the end times will be deceived and receive the mark of the beast to be set apart for eternal destruction. This is called the season of the great falling away, which Jesus prophesied would come. It is where brother will betray brother, and a mans enemy will be in his own home etc…. This season is the separating out of the wheats and the tares (Jesus parable). The purpose of this particular season is for the Lord to bring a sword, to make a distinction in His body. To set apart a people for himself for heaven, and to separate out those who have been prepared for eternal loss. The tearing of the kingdom in Rehoboams time was for the purpose of separating and making a distinction between two different kingdoms. No longer will goats be mistaken for sheep.

  13. God’s miracles are around us every day. Sometimes we just have to open our eyes and see them. They are not always healings or physical manifestations, but things we see everyday. Just the mere fact that we as humans are living beings is a miracle. One only has to view God’s creation and view the extensiveness of his majesty. God has has personally given me three miracles that I cherish everyday and they are my eternal salvation, my wife and my daughter. I need no more miracles in my life. Our God is an awesome God.

  14. Andrew Aug 16th 2014

    Some awesome comments here

    Thankyou, my friends.

    Andrew

  15. Not listening to God’s advice especially when you know God is right is always going to get idiots in trouble.

  16. KarenS Aug 18th 2014

    Though I have read this passage many times, I never before took notice of Agag. Samuel charges Saul with disobedience and Saul replies, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord … I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” So the excuse for keeping the spoil was to sacrifice it to God. What was the excuse for sparing Agag?

    It seems that Agag was too important to be killed. He was a mighty king. I think that Agag is a picture of self – my right over me. We may give everything to God but that is not enough. He demands rights over our very self. He wants the right to make us into whatever he chooses as the potter does the clay. Saul was willing to sacrifice the spoil but wasn’t even discussing Agag — Samuel hacked Agag to pieces. We too would like to keep Agag – in prison, you know, but he is too important to entirely be gotten rid of. God has no such sentiment. We are to be crucified with Christ. (Gal. 2:20)

  17. His Truth is marching on Aug 18th 2014

    Amen, KarenS, right on………all those good things that the fleshly king Saul couldn’t bring himself to destroy/crucify are speaking of self., Even the “good things” in us need to be crucified because the truth is that in my flesh dwells no good thing. Saul is a classic example of wanting to serve God the way that seemeth right to us, the way that we want, and expect Him to bless it, but Jesus said that only who does the will of the Father will enter the kingdom. Our natural abilities profit nothing because it is of the flesh, but He wants us to serve Him in HIS Spirit, the Spirit of Christ in us….because only Spirit can give birth to Spirit….without Him we can do nothing.