Is Partial Obedience Enough?
I remember as a child my mom sending me to my room to clean it up. I would often just shove the toys and books under my bed or into the closet. Then I would hurry back to the TV or the game I was playing. It was just "partial obedience" and I knew it. Last spring God gave me an opportunity to go to the Congo and teach pastors. At first I told him I would rather go to Europe or South America, not the heart of Africa! Yet I realized God was calling me and that God wanted me to go and teach my fellow pastors there, regardless of any inconveniences or hardships I might face. In I Samuel 15 we read that God gave specific instructions to King Saul. God was precise and clear in his instructions yet Saul was only partially obedient. He reinterpreted God's commands to suit his own agenda and greed. So God withdrew his blessing from Saul's kingship and he fell out of favor with God. The truth is partial obedience is still disobedience.
We can be tempted to partial obedience in many areas of our lives. In our marriage, we can be tempted to only be partially faithful to our vows and this leads to broken relationships. In our walk with God, we are tempted to hoard and not give the tithe as the Bible instructs all believers. This leads to disobedience and a lack of joy and contentment in our giving. When God calls us to go and serve, we can be tempted to take the easy way out or only partially surrender to God's will.
Saul paid a heavy price for his partial obedience which was disobedience. This week I travel to the Congo. After much prayer and many open doors that God has provided, I am content in this steady walk of total obedience. "What would be lost if you allowed FEAR to keep you from God's call upon your life?" I think I will see the answer to this question as I go in faith to the other side of the globe. Keep me and the pastor's conference in your prayers.