1 Samuel 15:22-23 – “So Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” NKJV
A long time ago I grew weary with what I call Performance Christianity. That is keeping a list of the good things that one does so as to hopefully balance the scales of justice on that final day and compare oneself with another to justify one’s failure and flaws. I have longed for what I call “Relational Christianity”. That is developing a personal relationship with God through the Holy Spirit making Him first, seeking Him above all else, and walking in total obedience to His Word and Will. It is clear from Samuel’s decree to King Saul how God views performance in comparison to relationship or sacrifice compared to obedience.
The New Covenant did not bring us a freedom for relational obligations concerning the “Laws or Word of God”. It simply transferred us from the curse of death and transferred us into a relationship where we escape death and gain eternal life. A good way to describe this would be that in Natural National Israel under the Old Covenant circumcision was a sign of the Covenant but under Grace and the New Covenant it is no longer in the flesh but in the heart.
Romans 2:28-29 – “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.” NKJV
Colossians 2:9-15 – “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. 11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” NKJV
The New Covenant Relationship becomes a matter of the heart, rather than outward obedience or keeping a list of laws, rules, and regulations. It does not mean that we don’t obey God’s laws, rules, and regulations but through “Grace” we now are able to have His Law “written upon our hearts” through the circumcision of the Spirit of God and are able to OBEY! What God wants is our hearts not just our flesh. If He has our hearts, he has our flesh too. If He only has our flesh, then we may still have a rebellious heart and not be walking in true obedience out of love but simply putting on a “Public Show” and depending on our outward demonstration to justify us. It won’t for ONLY JESUS can justify and that is through His Sacrifice on the Cross!
May God bless you as you move forward in Him! Have a great day and week in Christ!