I remember back when I was younger there was a slogan for a credit card that said, "What's in your wallet."
No one that I know of walks around with money pinned to their clothing. You don't have your debit card taped to your forehead or your credit cards tied around your neck. But this does not imply that you do not have the means to pay for something.
When you are standing at the register you whip out said wallet and proceed to pay for your purchases with your choice of payment option.
In your wallet you could be carrying thousands of dollars, or, if you are like me, maybe 50 cents. (no, not the Rapper, my wallet is not that large)
No one who just looks at you can see how much you are worth at any given moment. It's just not apparent to someone passing you in Wal Mart.
But you usually know.
That phrase, "What's in your wallet" has been running through my mind as I have been studying the reign of Saul.
The people of Israel demanded a king. God wanted to be their king, but THAT wasn't good enough, so He gave them a king. But, through Samuel, He also sent them warning.
1 Samuel 12:13-15 Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired: and, behold, the Lord hath set a king over you. If ye will fear the Lord, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the Lord your God. But if ye will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you as it was against your fathers.
Basically, "OK, you asked for it, you got it!" Now, what are you going to do with it?
Saul was charged to completely destroy the Amalekites. The Amalekites represented evil power and opposition to God, His people and His truth.
Saul did not follow orders.
1 Samuel 15:2-3 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep.
Saul returned from battle with King Agag, and the best sheep, oxen and lambs.
This was not the first time Saul had failed to follow instructions from God. In 1 Samuel 13:13 God told Saul to wait in Gilgal for Samuel to come and offer sacrifices and instruct him. When God delayed Samuel past the 7 days Saul was told he would come in Saul decided to perform the sacrifices himself.
And because Saul failed to follow God's commandments, Samuel told him God was going to take the kingdom away.
Saul believed he had followed God's commandments in Chapter 15. Instead of destroying everything he retained things "for a purpose."
But Samuel rebuked him. "What brings God the most pleasure? Burnt offerings and sacrifices, or OBEYING Him?"
"To obey is better than sacrifice."
The sacrifice we bring of worship, praise and our service to Him mean nothing if we are not obedient to Him and to His Commandments.
Samuel goes even further relating rebellion to witchcraft. Just as witchcraft is seeking to manipulate events, people or the future, rebellion is rejecting God's authority and doing things in a manner other than His way. Both rebellion and witchcraft take you our of God's protection.
Because of Saul's rebellion against God's commands the kingdom was taken and another king was put in his place. And although this new king also made mistakes he knew how to find that place of repentance, and when his shortcomings and failing were revealed he had a totally different reaction than Saul.
Saul still wanted to appear right in the eyes of man, even when he was wrong. This new king, King David would mourn and weep, he would turn to obedience.
What does your praise mean to Him? What about your worship? Are you carrying around sins that you suppose are hidden from Him? If so, your praise, your worship may be empty words.
You see, living for Him, living this life is not something you put on and take off. It should be tangible, viable. Whether seen or unseen you should remain the same.
Saul lacked righteousness. He easily disregarded God's commandments for him. And he kept part of what God had told him to completely destroy.
When we come to know Him there are things we no longer do, places we no longer go. There is a reason for this.
The Amalekites were the enemy of God, just as sin is the enemy of a Christian. Sin comes to completely destroy US. You cannot be a friend to sin, you cannot leave a little sin hanging around "for a purpose."
Well, I may need this one day.
No, you never have a need to go back to what He brings you out of. Sin can serve no purpose in the life of a Saint of God that has been washed in His Blood.
So, what's in YOUR wallet? What things are you carrying around with you that go against the Word of God, that go against the standard that has been placed in your life by your man of God?
Oh, you may think that it is out of sight and out of mind, but whether it can be seen by the world at large or not, sin is still sin.
And sooner or later sin rears its head and makes itself known. There comes that day when you have to PAY the price for sin, and on that day everyone will know if you can cover the cost.
There is One that has already paid that ultimate price. By His Blood we are made whole. But He charges us to "Go and sin no more."
His Word is plain. His plan is revealed. He has called us to "come out from among" the sins of the world. Just as with Saul, He has given us a charge, and He still longs for obedience.
What's in your wallet? Can you cover the cost for rebellion against God's Word?
His message is the same.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent (Turn around), and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (washing away) of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Have YOU received the Holy Ghost since you believed?? Don't leave home without it!!!!