I have heard over and over from people, "obedience is better than sacrifice". I've even told people this, it wasn't until I went through the hardest time in my that I was reading through the gospels and saw that over and over Jesus says this quote. i went to the Lord asking Him to open my eyes to want this really means. The best story I know of to explain this is Abrham and Isaac (Genesis 22). God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (his promise) and without question Abraham knew the Lord enough to know God knew what He was doing. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and not to lean on our own knowledge, because God will lead and guide us. (Carissa Version, not in stores yet lol) It's that God really wanted Abraham to murder his kid, God wanted his obedience and not only that He was going to show Abraham the promise of Jesus, (on mount Moriah). God was essentially saying, "Abraham, I am going to bring my son, my only son to die for the sins of all mankind. You will no longer need to sacrifice any longer." While studying and praying about the difference between this two actions (obedience v.s. sacrifice) I realized sacrifice is an outward action that can come even from an unwilling, deceptive heart! Obedience however comes from a humbled and open heart. Man sees what people's actions are and judging the actions, but God looks at the heart, (1Samuel 16:7) 1 Corinithians 13 tells us we can do many great things, give to charities, volunteer, etc but without love it's all dead works and annoying to the Lord! I remember packing up and driving down to Florida to move back in with my parents (the Lord spoke to me to go) as I drove I told God, "Father, I know you have told me to do this and you see what I'm doing this is a huge sacrifice for me, I hope you know that." lol you know what He told me, "your obedience in this is worth more to me than the things you are sacrificing." God cared that I was hurting and cared about what I was doing but He wasn't looking at my actions He was searching my heart to see if I was doing it for the world or doing just because He spoke!
I want you to think back on a time that God spoke to you to do something that you didn't want to do or maybe even didn't do, if you haven't done it repent and do it! If you did obey make sure your heart was right and in the obedience (be willing and obedience) and if not ask the Lord to teach you to think as He thinks and trust Him completely, when we trust Him with our whole heart we will be willing and obedient!
Stay blessed everyone and have an amazing Christmas season remembering that God sent Jesus who was willing and obedient to endure the suffering of the cross for the redemption of mine and your sins!!!! Thank you Father for sending Jesus that all we have to do and recieve the gift of what He did for us!