I have been reading straight through the Bible the last few weeks. I have never actually done this before. I am reading several chapters a day to hit my goal of reading through the Bible in 90 days.
I am getting such a broad view of God and His relationship with man, something I didn’t really see before. Every story I read is standing out and speaking to me in a new light. I have been enjoying it.
I am in Samuel right now and as I read about Samuel anointing Saul to be King of Israel and what happened next, God spoke to me about my life…and about yours. First, I want to explain the story, then I want to challenge us men to evaluate our lives.
Samuel anoints Saul and then God gives Saul an order to destroy the Amalekites and destroy everything in their town.
And Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” – 1 Samuel 15:1-3
This seems pretty harsh. Its hard for me to read that even the women and children were ordered to be destroyed. I don’t want you to think I am overlooking this detail, but its not the focus of the message that I want to share with you today. So I will move on.
God commands Saul to destroy everything. Saul goes and does destroy some things, but then he keeps all the best things alive.
And Saul defeated the Amalekites from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive and devoted to destruction all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction.” – 1 Samuel 15:7-9
Saul kept Agag alive, along with the best of the livestock. He did not obey God.
Here is my question for us men:
What in our lives has God asked us to utterly destroy, but we have decided to keep bits of it?
Evaluating my life I can tell you that I was doing this for years. I struggled with pornography for what feels like my whole life. I knew it was sin, I knew it was wrong, and I chose to hide it.
The Bible says,
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” – James 4:17
I knew the right thing to do would be to resist the temptation of pornography and I failed. I gave into the desire of my flesh over and over again. I was sinning.
God asked me to destroy this part of my life. The Holy Spirit convicted my heart and told me to stop sinning. I thought I would be stronger to resist temptation once I got married. And I did want to honor my wife and be a faithful husband. I wanted to keep our relationship pure. I knew I had a responsibility to be pure in my life and to be honest with her.
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” – Hebrews 13:4
God asked me to destroy this secret in my life. He asked me to obey Him.
But I held onto it. I kept my secret sin and I was addicted to the way it made me feel. Over the years I did get better at resisting the temptation of pornography. I said no to it more often then I did before. But the truth is that I was still a slave to my sin and it was ruining my marriage.
Even though I was getting better at not sinning, I was still struggling with it. I convinced myself that I was doing better…which was a lie I told myself to avoid the pain of shame and guilt. Here is some truth I learned though:
A little bit of disobedience is still disobedience.
Like Saul, I kept some stuff in my life that God told me to destroy. I thought I knew better than God so I kept it around. And it ended up destroying intimacy in my marriage. I told my wife what I had been addicted to and I repented of my sin. It has been a painful road, but today I am completely free from the sin of pornography. I have destroyed that part of my life. I live in obedience to God. And my marriage is flourishing because of the choices I have made to do as God has told me to do.
What “thing” has God commanded you to utterly destroy in your life?
I listed these things to prompt you to consider what thing or things God may be asking you to destroy. That is between you and Him. I’m just asking you to evaluate your life and consider it.
Once I utterly destroyed the thing God asked me to destroy, my life has drastically changed for the better.
I also challenge you to read through the whole Bible. Start in Genesis and don’t stop until you reach Revelation.