Bleating Sheep

Wayne Cordeiro

"When Samuel reached him, Saul said, "The LORD bless you! I have carried out the Lord's instructions." But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears?" (1 Sam. 15:13-14).
Saul had been given instructions by God to completely eradicate the Amalekites. Instead, he decides for himself what is to be eliminated and what was not. I am not sure if it was greed or simply an emotional unwillingness, but whatever the reason, he felt his personal evaluations were superior to God's. When Samuel arrived, Saul was straining himself by patting his own back, and behind him were the sounds of bleating sheep.
God will point out to me what is precious and what is not. I may have the tendency, like Saul, to "improve" on God's decisions, but I must not. He will establish my priorities: in ministry, my family, finances, and future. He will even establish what skills I must develop according to my calling, gifts, and passions. Even which risks to take and which not to take, even though the opportunity for success may seem obvious. I will need to cull certain activities in order to make room for His priorities. I only have a specified amount of time and energy to accommodate eternal priorities. I must take the time to garner His instructions, record them, and follow fully.

In the end, God will not hold me accountable for what I have done as much as He will hold me accountable for what He has asked me to do that I have done.

Then will I have the confidence to say to God, "I have carried out the Lord's instructions" and not hear the bleating of sheep in the background. And what do I do with bleating sheep?

... Kill them. Dead sheep don't bleat.
Dear Father: Please help me in this life essential so that I prune correctly to Your priorities. And give me the strength to say "no" to opportunities that may hold great promise, but may also lead me further from Your plans.

Devotions for April 14

1 Samuel 15,16
1 Chronicles 5
Matthew 1

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