Welcome to Open Heavens Daily Devotional written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
TOPIC: An Ignorant Prayer
TODAY: Tuesday 18 April, 2017
Memorise: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
Read: 1st Samuel 15:17-22(KJV)
17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel?
18 And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord?
20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.
22 And Samuel said, Hath 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 hearken than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
Bible in one year: Numbers 5-6, Jeremiah 15:10-21, Hymn: Sing hymn 9
I have always admonished believers never to pray that God should humble them; this is an ignorant prayer. The truth is that God has given everyone the capacity to choose whatever he or she wants to do, and He will not interfere with our choices. For this reason, every man is responsible for his or her actions. Why is this so? This is because man, unlike other creatures, was created as an agent of free will. The Bible in Deuteronomy 30:19 says:
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”
The above passage of Scripture explains God’s attitude to man’s fall in the Garden of Eden. Although He had instructed Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, He did not try to stop them when they did eat it, even though He is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. His righteous nature would not allow Him to hold back the free will He had already given to them. However, they lived to bear the consequences of their choice to disobey God.
In our Bible reading today, King Saul momentarily forgot the low estate he occupied before he was made the king of Israel. His forgetfulness caused him to think that he could flout the instructions given to him by the King of kings. He decided to listen to his human counsellors, and he began to rationalise the instructions God gave him. King Saul therefore became swollen-headed, and Prophet Samuel who anointed him as king became “old school” and “old fashioned” in his eyes. To him, there should be no ‘waste’; after all why destroy valuable fatted cows?
Moreover, great kings would begin to pay tribute to him for sparing their lives. Contrast this attitude against his humble demeanour before he became king. He himself had once said in 1st Samuel 9:21:
“…Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? And my family the least of all families of the tribe of Benjamin? Wherefore then speakest thou so to me?
Remembering this, Prophet Samuel in 1st Samuel 15:17 said:
“….When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?”
May the Lord deliver his children from pride in Jesus’ Name. Our approach to humility should be heed the counsel of submission in today’s memory verse; the reason being that if we do not humble ourselves voluntarily and God has to do it, one could end up like King Saul, whom the Lord rejected from being king over His people (1st Samuel 15:26). May that not be your portion in Jesus’ Name.
Father, I submit myself to Your Lordship. I will seek what You want, and what You hate, I will hate. Help me to stay truth to this commandment in Jesus Name.