There comes a point in every Christian’s life when they have to choose obedience not sacrifice. Do we continue to go our own way or do we obey God regardless of what he asks? Like Saul, we have to understand that God wants us to choose obedience not sacrifice.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full affiliate policy.
Why Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice
A long time ago, King Saul had a hard choice to make: destroy the Amalekites and everything that belonged to them, or save the best things they had to offer as the spoils of war.
Unfortunately, Saul chose to satisfy his lust instead of God’s command. God wanted the Amalekites destroyed. He even went so far as to tell Saul why that was the case. But, for some reason, Saul decided to spare the life of King Agag along with some of the livestock.
His actions caused Samuel to say these hard words:
“What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:22 NLT).
Maybe Saul thought he could do as he pleased and ask forgiveness afterward. Before you judge him too harshly, let me ask you this: has there ever been a time when you have deliberately disobeyed God because you were counting on His grace and mercy to absolve you after the fact?
If you have, I understand. We love to remember how much God loves us while choosing to forget that His love is intricately woven with truth, judgment, and justice.
In God’s eyes, obedience is better than sacrifice.What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:22 NLT).… Click To Tweet
Why Sacrifice Hurts Our Obedience
“…sometimes you have to sacrifice the one for the good of many.”
These were the words spoken by the main antagonist in Lynette Eason’s Collateral Damage. Sounds like truth, doesn’t it? In fact, it sounds a lot like what Christ did for us. He gave his life for our sins and paid the penalty we should have paid.
But one’s motive is everything. What are you willing to do to provide for your family? What are you convincing yourself is okay because you want to make more money?
The devil offers no free gifts and he will think nothing of tempting you with things he knows you desire.
But his gifts cannot be trusted. He wants you to sacrifice your loved ones to have a better life here on earth.
He wants you to sin. He wants you to step away from the protection and shelter of God’s care. Don’t listen to him. Choose obedience not sacrifice.The devil offers no free gifts and he will think nothing of tempting you with things he knows you desire. #obediencenotsacrifice #hebrews12endurance Click To Tweet
Obedience Over Sacrifice
God, on the other hand, doesn’t want your sacrifice. He wants your obedience.
“If you love me,” he said through his son, “keep my commandments.”
God wants us to show our love for him in our willingness to do what he says. And I understand that. As a parent, I want my son to obey. Sometimes, I want him to do as I say even if I don’t provide him with an explanation.
I want him to get to the point where he chooses obedience not sacrifice.
Because he trusts me.
Because he knows I would never do anything to hurt him.
Because he knows my love for him will always lead me to make the decisions that are in his best interest.
Our Heavenly Father is an infinitely better parent than I am. And he knows everything and so can tell with absolute certainty what will be for our benefit whereas I can only make the best guess based on the information I have available.
In that way, I’m a lot like the characters in Lynette Eason’s Collateral Damage. They made a number of decisions based on the limited information they had at the time. One character chose to sacrifice others for his greater good even while he demanded their obedience.
Collateral Damage Review
Brooke was discharged from the army after she was involved in an explosion in a cafe. She has just started to put her life together and is working in private practice with a friend as long as there are no soldiers or ex-army clients.
But Asher James didn’t know that when he set up an appointment to see her at her office…which is how he happened to discover the dead body in his would-be psychiatrist’s office.
The action starts on page one and doesn’t let up. Though I admit that I never expected so much army stuff at the beginning of the book, the characters made it worth it.
Know God–Both of the main characters professed a relationship with God. Brooke even spoke about him in her sessions with her clients and admitted that her relationship with God was what allowed her to be able to get through some of the trials she had experienced in her life.
Know yourself–Asher and Brooke grew up in families where they experienced difficulties. Yet, somehow they held on to what they knew about themselves and did not give in to the pressures to conform to familial expectations.
Run your race–If given the choice to give up your dream or have money, what would you choose? Sometimes, it’s hard for us to walk away from a comfortable life especially if it means we have to do something we disagree with.
That was the situation of one of the minor characters in Collateral Damage. He could follow orders and collect a lot of money, or he could do what his conscience demanded. At the end of the day, everyone has to make the choice to obey or sacrifice.
I enjoyed Brooke’s strength of character even as she struggled with her own challenges. Asher was also a strong character who had a lot to deal with but did so with grace and kindness.
I thought the ending was a bit rushed and would almost have preferred if the epilogue had somehow been woven into the main story. I have to say the foreshadowing in this book is awesome. Every detail was carefully thought out and plotted before it made it into the book.
I loved how Ms. Eason took the various layers of the story and laid them down one at a time, weaving them together as she did so. When I finished reading, I started going through it again to see how things fit together.
If you enjoy a good, suspenseful mystery you’ll enjoy Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason. I received an advanced reader’s copy as part of the Revell Reads program; a positive review was not required. Purchase Collateral Damage on Amazon.
About Collateral Damage
Honorably discharged from the Army after an explosion nearly killed her, former military psychiatrist Brooke Adams has set up shop to help others–but her days of helping military personnel are over. She’s got her own battles to fight from her time overseas, and she’s not equipped to take on more. Former Army Special Ops Sergeant First Class Asher James could handle anything that war sent his way–terrorists, bombs, and bullets. The only thing that scares him now is sleep. As the shadows close in, the nightmares begin.
Finally convinced that he needs help, Asher makes an appointment with a counselor, and Brooke is pressed by her boss to take him on.
When he arrives at her office she isn’t there–but a dead body is. Brooke is devastated when she walks in, and Asher is a conveniently strong shoulder to cry on. But she can’t take him on as a client after sharing such an intimate and unprofessional moment, can she? And he’s not sure he can handle sharing his deepest fears with such a beautiful woman.
When it becomes clear that Brooke was the real target of the attack–and that her secrets go even deeper than his own–Asher vows to protect her no matter what.
Bestselling author Lynette Eason is back with a new series that spans the globe and will have your heart working overtime.
About Lynette Eason
Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Protecting Tanner Hollow, as well as the Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master’s degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.
You may also like: