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Have you ever failed to do something you knew God wanted you to do simply because you were afraid of what someone else would think about you?

Have you ever changed your plans because you feared how someone might respond?

Most of us have done these things at one time or another. When we do, we have fallen victim to another form of "fear of people."

We can see a classic example of this type of fear in operation in the life of King Saul, Israel's first king, in 1 Samuel 15. Saul was a man who battled insecurity. The Bible tells us that, although Saul stood head and shoulders above all the men of Israel, he was "little" in his own sight (1 Sam. 15:17).

That basic insecurity and the need to please other people led Saul into a "heap of trouble." When doubt and fear developed into a fear of people, it cost him and his descendants a kingdom.

In this account, Saul had been commanded by the Lord through Samuel to go and completely destroy the evil Amalekites. His detailed instructions were to destroy every living thing.

"Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass" (1 Sam. 15:3).

That may sound harsh to you, but you must realize that this was an extremely wicked people whose sin was polluting the land and all those around them. Did Saul obey the instructions of the Lord? Read on.

"And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comes to Shur, that is over against Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly" (1 Sam. 15:7-9).

Child of God, partial obedience is no obedience at all. A half-way, half-hearted, go-through-the-motions type of obedience is no better than outright rebellion. In fact, it is actually worse.

Jesus said, I would thou wert cold or hot, not luke-warm (Rev. 3:15).

Partial obedience actually is disobedience.

Saul's failure to trust God and obey Him came as a great disappointment to both Samuel and the Lord.

"Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king; for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night" (1 Sam. 15:10-11).

Disobedience always hurts those who love us and are counting on us. In Saul's case, he compounded his sin by trying to cover his disobedience with a lie.

"And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord" (1 Sam. 15:13).

In other words, Saul walked up to God's prophet with a big smile on his face and announced in his most religious tone, "Yea, and verily, brother. I have obeyed the Lord!"

However, Samuel did not buy that. With a strong note of sarcasm in his voice, he asked: "What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amaletkites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifce unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed" (1 Sam. 15:14-15).

When confronted with his disobedience, instead of confessing and repenting, Saul became self-righteous and he blamed "the people." He claimed that the best of the animals were spared for a sacrifice to the Lord. But Samuel informed him in no uncertain terms that God is more interested in obedience than in some smelly sacrifice.

"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. 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" (1 Sam. 15:22-23).

God said, "Rebellion is the same as witchcraft!"

Folks, God is serious about His people obeying His instructions. Too many Christians are caught up in religious activity while neglecting the very things God has called them to do. You may be making great sacrifices of time and energy, but it is not pleasing to God unless you are obeying what He has told you to do.

Finally, in 1 Samuel 15:24, we find out the real reason for Saul's disobedience: And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.

Saul feared the people. His insecurities and need for approval caused him to violate the clear command of the Lord God Almighty. He fell into the trap of thinking that his position came from pleasing people rather than pleasing God. The result of this was that Saul lost everything: his kingship, his anointing, his calling, and finally, his life.

Fear of disapproval is a powerful motivator in the lives of many Christians today. Some will do practically anything to make sure they have the approval and affirmation of their friends, family members, or co-workers.

Source: Uprooting The Spirit Of Fear by Creflo A. Dollar Jr..
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishing

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.
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