The Secret To Being Used By God


If you asked someone to pick up your car from the shop and they brought back your key, what would you think?  Did they do what you wanted?  Partially, but not fully, right?

In 1 Samuel 15 we read about a man named Saul who decided to partially obey God instead of fully obey.  Saul’s plan seemed like a good idea but it wasn’t God’s idea.  He started in obedience but because of a few traps along the way, he chose the route to partial obedience which can also be known as disobedience.

An Example of Partial Obedience

The story goes like this.  Samuel goes to King Saul and says “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord…I will punish the Amalekites…Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belong to them.  Do not spare them; put to death men and women children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.”

Saul and his soldiers destroyed all the people with the sword but Saul spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs.  It says that Saul and the soldiers kept “everything that was good.”  They got rid of the weak and the bad things but kept the good things.

The word of the Lord came to Samuel and he found out about Saul’s partial obedience.  Samuel was heartbroken. He went to Saul and confronted the issue.  Saul responded with “The soldiers brought them [cattle and sheep] from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”

Samuel yelled out “Stop!”  Then Samuel informed Saul that because of his partial obedience, the Lord has rejected him as king over Israel.

2 Traps That Keep Us From Full Obedience

This story reveals to us the desire in God’s heart for absolute, 100% complete obedience. There are two traps that can prevent us from walking in full obedience:

1) Fearing man more than God.  1 Samuel 15:24 Saul confesses and says “I have sinned.  I violated the Lord’s command and your [Samuel’s] instructions.  I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them.”

2) Having a good idea instead of God’s idea. When Saul and the soldiers saw that there was some good in the land they were to destroy, they decided to keep the good things in order to sacrifice them to the Lord. They got stuck in the trap of having a good idea verses God’s idea.  Samuel says “To obey is better than sacrifice.”

Fearing man and having your own idea are two traps that can prevent us from walking in full 100% obedience to God.  It’s putting our own thoughts and others’ thoughts in front of God’s thoughts.

I know that for me, the opinions of others can prevent me from walking out the very plans that God has for me.  What will they think?  What if I look different?  What if no one likes it?  But when God has given you a command to obey, obedience will always position you to be used by God.

The Secret To Being Used By God

God wanted a king that was obedient to Him.  Not just a king that followed in partial obedience but a king that was fully obedient.  It wasn’t until King Jesus came to earth that God got His 100% obedient King.

We might have trouble deciding what God wants us to do, when he wants us to do it, and if we are really supposed to do it.  God knew our struggle to obey and decided to send His son, Jesus, for us to follow.  Jesus came to offer us grace when we just couldn’t meet God’s standards.

Therefore, the secret to being used by God is to have a fully obedient relationship with Jesus Christ, the king of the kingdom of heaven.  When we are willing to look at the things Jesus commanded us to do in the New Testament and be faithful to do them, we will be following in full obedience.  This full obedience will position us to be used by God.  Our lives will be powerful and effective.  And in that obedience, we will be blessed!

What are you doing today to walk fully obedient to Jesus? 

If you don’t know what Jesus commanded us to do then read Jesus’ sermon on the mount by reading Matthew 5-7.

(An awesome book to read about the connection between obedience and blessing is called Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst.  It’s an awesome short read!)

For the full story from today read 1 Samuel 15.

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  1. I like really like your application here and also liked Lysa’s book. I too would recommend it.

  2. I found your post very refreshing. It has only been recently that I have started walking in full obedience, or at least trying, and I am encouraged to read posts such as yours. I often feel alone in my journey as many around me seem content to rest on their grace. Thank you for the reminder that I am not alone on this journey. God Bless!

    • Hi Missy,

      Thank you for visiting the blog. I’m delighted to partner together with you as sisters in Christ to run joyfully after the Father. Yes, you are not alone! Excited to seek Him with you!

      Warmly in His love,


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