If God asks me to give $1, I can quickly and easily say, “Yes!”
If God asks me to give $10, I say, “Okay!”
If God asks me to give $100, I say, “Um, well, if You say so.”
If God asks me to give $1000, I say, “I need to pray about this ‘faith promise.’”
If God asks me to give $10,000, I say, “As soon as You bless me, I’ll be able to do this.”
This same principle holds true for anything else:
- Used clothing? Sure. Brand new stuff? I’m not so sure.
- Volunteer an hour? Okay! Make a commitment for an hour every week? Let me pray about it.
- Pray for someone? No problem. Add them to my daily prayer list? Whoa!
- Support missionaries? Yes! Become a missionary? Well….
It’s easy to obey when we think the stakes are low. But the more “zeroes” that get added to the amount, the higher the stakes seem. Am I brave enough to obey then?
This is what tripped up Saul, Israel’s first king. He was supposed to devote everything from the defeated Amalekites to God. “Devote” means a complete and irrevocable giving to God. When the stakes were low, he obeyed, but when he perceived the stakes being too high, he lost the courage to follow through:
Saul and his men spared Agag’s life and kept the best of the sheep and goats, the cattle, the fat calves, and the lambs—everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality. (1 Samuel 15:9 NLT)
He captured Agag, king of Amalek, alive. Everyone else was killed under the terms of the holy ban. Saul and the army made an exception for Agag, and for the choice sheep and cattle. They didn’t include them under the terms of the holy ban. But all the rest, which nobody wanted anyway, they destroyed as decreed by the holy ban. (1 Samuel 15:9, The Message)
Ironically, because Saul held on to what he thought was valuable, he lost something invaluable: a close relationship with God. His cowardice led to disobedience, and his disobedience led to his ultimate collapse.
I pray that I’m brave enough to obey just as quickly when the stakes are higher as I do when the stakes are lower.
What about you? Are you brave enough?