Obedience is Better

Posted on 06/28/2015 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

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TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

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I LOVE TO BE IN YOUR PRESENCE

I love to be in Your presence
With Your people singing praises
I love to stand and rejoice
Lift my hands and raise my voice
You set my feet to dancing
You fill my heart with song
You give me reason to rejoice


TAKE ME IN

Take me past the outer courts
Into the Holy Place
Past the brazen altar
Lord I want to see your face
Pass me by the crowds of people
And the Priests who sing your praise
I hunger and thirst for your righteousness
And it's only found one place

Take me into the holy of holies
Take me in by the blood of the lamb
Take me into the holy of holies
Take the coal, touch my lips, here I am


I LOVE YOU LORD

I love you Lord
and I lift my voice
To worship you
O my soul, rejoice!
Take joy, my King
in what you hear
May it be a sweet, sweet sound
in your ear


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Let's start off today's message
by reading from the book
of 1st Samuel,
chapter 15.

1 Samuel 15:22 (NKJV)

22 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."

To obey is better
than sacrifice.

What does that mean?

Well,
let's ponder it
for just a moment.

Sacrifice is
the shedding
of innocent blood
to pay the price
for your sin.

Let's consider that
again:

Sacrifice is
the shedding
of innocent blood
to pay the price
for your sin.

Obedience,
on the other hand,
is taking responsibility
for your own actions,
both inside
and outside.

Obedience
is surrender to
that which is
equally good
for everyone.

Obedience
is partnership with
the wisdom,
the will, and
the Love,
of God.

Compare that
with slitting
an innocent,
helpless
being's throat
and draining
their life blood
because
you were
living in rebellion
against what is
genuinely good,

and I'm sure
you'll agree
there IS
no comparison.


To obey is better
than sacrifice.


When we think
of obedience,
we tend to
either think
of something
that,
since we
believe in it
and think
we practice it,
it makes us
feel holy....

....especially
compared to those
who do NOT obey.

But if obedience
is surrender to
and partnership with
the Nature of God,
the ego's definition
of obedience
could actually be
considered
DISobedience
instead.


For others,
"obeying God"
feels like drudgery.

Like giving up
all that is fun;

all that to which
you look forward
after a long week
hard at work.

After all,
God understands.

But there are
only two options:

Obedience,
or
Hurting others.

Obedience,
after all,

Obedience
is surrender to
that which is
equally good
for everyone.


DISobedience,
on the other hand,
is conscious
or unconscious
disregard for
the genuine good
of others.

If it is not,
then it is the
unconscious belief
that God's ways
are NOT necessarily
better.

Maybe YOUR ways
are just as good.


And that is what
the fallen human mind
does with regard
to obeying God.

It explains things away.

It makes excuses.

It finds loopholes.

It pretends it didn't hear.

It pretends
there is not
the voice of wisdom
crying out the truth
deep down inside.

ANYTHING
to entice its self
to fulfill its own
carnal desires.


"I'm not hurting
anyone."

If it's disobedience,
then that statement
is completely false.

"I'm not hurting anyone
besides myself."

If it's disobedience,
not only is that statement
still completely false,
but it is also
rooted in dellusion.

Only hurting yourself?

You are an inseperable
part of the whole,
so what you do to yourself,
you do to others.

And YOU are SOMEONE too.
How is hurting YOU
any less evil
than hurting
someone else?


You see,

Obedience
is partnership with
the wisdom,
the will, and
the Love,
of God.

Not partnering
with wisdom
makes one
a fool.

And DISobedience
is rejection of,
rebelling against,
and separating
yourself from

the wisdom,
the will, and
the Love,
of God.


So how can we
obey God?

Well,
He speaks to us
through many vessels.

Since Jesus claimed
to be the Son of God
sent to show us the way
and to pay the price
for our sin,

and since He
rose from the dead,
with no prophet
or healer
laying hands on Him,

but simply the
power of God
directly fulfilling
His own words
and the words
of the prophets
who came before Him,

then personally,
I trust what
He has to say.

His words were
recorded carefully
by those He
personally chose
to walk
and minister
by His side.

And in those words,
He validated
the Old Testament
writings.

So when I read
His words,
and the words
of the writings
to which He referred
as "The Scriptures,"

I can know that
I'm being pointed to
His nature.

Not in the letter
of the Old Testament
laws,
but in the Spirit
those laws
symbolize.

So when I'm told,
"Thou shalt not
commit adultery,"
it's pointing to something
much deeper than
an outward act.

And if I obey
the SPIRIT of that law,
I will not commit
the outward act
of adultery.

Of course the same
principle applies
to all the rest:

No other Gods.

Resting from your own works.

Not killing.

Not bearing false witness.

Not coveting.

Not stealing.

And so-on.

So The Scriptures
are one way
we can know
the moral
and ethical
will of God.


Another is by
the leading
of the Holy Spirit.

But this one
almost requires
a long series
of messages
all by itself.

After all,
get 100 people
into a room
from different
denominations
and gatherings
and persuasions,
and it's likely
they will have heard
100 different,
often conflicting,
things from the same
"Holy Spirit."

Why the differences?

Well the feeling is that
those who heard
conflicting things
must not REALLY
be hearing from God.

Maybe there is sin
hidden in their life.

Maybe they aren't
really filled with
the Holy Spirit.

Maybe they aren't
really saved.

Maybe they just WANT
such-and-such to be
true, SO MUCH, that
they only THINK
God is saying that to them.


The ego,
the fallen human mind,
thinks it can hear
from God.

But while God speaks
on such a wide frequency
that even the mind
can discern a small fraction
of the most spiritually basic
principles and directions,

God is Spirit.

And to hear ANYONE's voice,
it helps to dwell
where they are,
and to not be distracted
by sounds that are not
coming from His mouth.

Even the Scriptures
can be a distraction
if the mind believes
they point to some place
other than where
they actually do,

and if we believe
the mind's belief.

So maybe obedience
is not adhering to
rules and regulations;

Maybe TRUE obedience
is that inward state
of the heart
that RESULTS in
certain actions,
words, and attitudes
that we call obedience.

If you are truly
dwelling in Love,
you will not cheat,
steal,
gossip,
belittle,
deceive,
divide,
or destroy.

As the New Testament
author wrote,
are you dwelling
in heavenly places
with Christ Jesus
right now?

Maybe not
five minutes ago,
since that time
does not exist
right now;

and maybe not
five minutes
in the future,
since that time
is only a fantasy
or a fear
in the mind;

but RIGHT NOW?

Are you dwelling
in the temple
where the Spirit
of God lives,
in that heavenly place
with the Life
which incarnated
in Jesus Christ,

are you dwelling there
RIGHT NOW?

That is the
ONLY TIME
YOU CAN.

And I like to
call that place,
Presence.

So if you want to
ask yourself
a simple
yet powerful
question
throughout the day,

here's one that has
transformed my life,
in the form of a statement:

Be fully present now.

And as a question,
am I fully present now?

Or am I lost in the mind?

I might be using the mind,
but am I lost in it?

Intellectually,
you could go
around in circles
for all eternity
and still not
answer the question.

But you can learn
to feel the answer.

And the way to do that,
is to practice
being fully present.


When you worship,
and you are completely
lost in God's presence,
are you analyzing?

And you thinking about
what happened yesterday?

Are you worrying about
what might happen tomorrow?

Are you lost in
who you think you are?

Or in how you are better,
or worse,
than someone else
or some other group?

Chances are
that you will find
you are lost in Love
instead.

Not as a concept,
or an earthly form,
but as something
that cannot be
put into words.

It cannot be confined
by mental definitions.

It connot be expressed
in human language.

At best,
it can only be
pointed to.

And those who see it
will have to let go
of the words you use
before they can
know it for themselves.


To obey
is better
than sacrifice.


Obedience is dwelling
in that place of presence.

And by dwelling
in the Holy of Holies,
the outer acts follow.

And if the outer acts
are not acts
of obedience,
but you THINK
you are in the
right place
on the inside,
consider this:

If a tree is convinced
it is an apple tree,
but it keeps producing
pine cones,
the pine cones,
or the outer acts,
are irrefutable proof
that the tree
is fooling itself.

As Jesus said,
you will know them
by their fruit.

Is your fruit good?

That is just God,
not you.
He has just brought you
to a place in which
the source of that fruit
can flow.

Is your fruit bad?

That is just You,
not God.
You are not dwelling
in Presence with Him,
and the ego
is acting as your god
instead.

And here's a question:

Who are you to
judge your own fruit?

If you're trying to
build up your self image
by labeling
your own actions
as either good or bad,
then how can you be
an impartial judge?

Forget about the labels.

Just seek Presence.

Not yesterday
or tomorrow,
but always Now.

And if you keep,
for example,
committing adultery,
you can know
you are not
in that place,
and you need to

Be fully present now.


And we'll talk more
about how to do that,
or how to be there,
Lord willing.

But today,
let's end
by spending some time
in silence before God.