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Session 20

“But God, what if I did this?”

Read: 1 Samuel 15:1-23

Have you ever tried to negotiate a better way with God?

When we rely on our human understanding, what He asks us to do often leaves us confused, frustrated or scared. Those emotions can cause us to try to negotiate or only follow parts of His plan.

This happened to King Saul. In 1 Samuel 15:3, Samuel reported God’s instructions to Saul to “attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them.”

Only verses later, we see Saul and his men obey part of the Lord’s instructions. Instead of killing everyone and everything, “Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs — everything that was good.” (1 Samuel 15:9).

"To obey is better than sacrifice." -1 Samuel 15:22

Saul brought back everything he considered good. But the plunder was not good in God’s eyes because it was the spoils of disobedience.

We do the same thing as Saul when God tells us to tithe a tenth of our income and we decide to tithe 5 percent and give the other 5 percent to charity. Is giving to a charity good? Of course. But we should not give at the expense of what God says belongs to His church.

We do the same thing as Saul when God asks us to volunteer our time to a Saturday ministry and we decide to volunteer two other days to keep Saturday open for what we had in mind. Doing more good things earlier in the week doesn’t please God like obeying Him on Saturday would.

In Saul’s time, sacrifices were pleasing to God, but that didn’t matter if Saul used animals he wasn’t supposed to take in the first place. In 1 Samuel 12:22, God’s truth is clearly given: “To obey is better than sacrifice.”

We may have various examples in our past of choosing to follow God on our own terms, but today let's choose obedience.

Reflect:

  • Can you remember a time you disobeyed God’s instructions? How did you feel in the process? What was the outcome?
  • Think about a time you obeyed God, even when it didn’t make sense or scared you. How did you feel? What was the outcome?
  • What is God asking you to do today? How will you respond?

1

When hope seems unattainable

When hope seems unattainable

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2

What if your kids aren’t really yours?

What if your kids aren’t really yours?

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3

Miracles are more than moments

Miracles are more than moments

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4

But God, I don’t want to

But God, I don’t want to

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5

Only God can judge me

Only God can judge me

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6

How do I know if God’s calling me?

How do I know if God’s calling me?

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7

Ask this when fighting a losing battle

Ask this when fighting a losing battle

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8

Kill your idol, before it kills you

Kill your idol, before it kills you

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9

Repentance is more than being sorry

Repentance is more than being sorry

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10

How to walk forward in faith

How to walk forward in faith

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11

Do you blend in?

Do you blend in?

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12

Coincidence? I think not.

Coincidence? I think not.

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13

You can be forever changed

You can be forever changed

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14

When what god asks feels impossible

When what god asks feels impossible

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15

Not all anger is sinful

Not all anger is sinful

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16

It’s not too late to change

It’s not too late to change

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17

When impatience wins

When impatience wins

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18

Who can you count on?

Who can you count on?

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19

Bite your tongue

Bite your tongue

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20

“But God, what if I did this?”

“But God, what if I did this?”

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21

No more excuses

No more excuses

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22

You can’t unsee this

You can’t unsee this

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23

I don’t want to be here anymore

I don’t want to be here anymore

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24

The long road to an overnight success

The long road to an overnight success

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25

Overcoming overwhelming obstacles

Overcoming overwhelming obstacles

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26

The danger of jealousy

The danger of jealousy

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27

Why do my motives even matter?

Why do my motives even matter?

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28

When doing the right thing gets you in trouble

When doing the right thing gets you in trouble

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29

How to choose between competing loyalties

How to choose between competing loyalties

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30

How to have joy in hard times

How to have joy in hard times

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31

I never thought I’d do that

I never thought I’d do that

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32

Is opportunity a sign of God’s approval?

Is opportunity a sign of God’s approval?

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33

When you want revenge

When you want revenge

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34

Have you ever forgotten to say thank you?

Have you ever forgotten to say thank you?

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35

When revenge kills

When revenge kills

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36

How to prevent regret

How to prevent regret

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37

Between a rock and a hard place?

Between a rock and a hard place?

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38

How to get your next big thing

How to get your next big thing

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39

What happens when your plans fall apart?

What happens when your plans fall apart?

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40

Who to blame when things go wrong

Who to blame when things go wrong

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41

Disobedience always has consequences

Disobedience always has consequences

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