Obedience Over Ritual

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Lately I’ve thought how instead of placing obedience over ritual, we sometimes allow the chains of ritual to enslave us.  I’ve mentioned the power we have in Jesus to free us from the chains Satan throws on us. And I’ve talked about praising Jesus as he removes the shackles that bind.

Throughout the Bible there are instances where people valued the chains of ritual over obedience. Before we go pointing fingers, though, I believe it would be safe to say there are times we may do the same thing. We may not realize it, but if we take a hard look, we may find it’s true.

I know it’s true with me.

If I’m not careful, I can allow my quiet time with God to become bound in the chains of ritual, where I go through specific steps of do this first, then this, then this … and leave little, if any, space to respond spontaneously to God.

Or maybe we argue and fight with our kids or spouse to get them out the door for church on time. We go through the ritual of sitting in the worship service, and feel anything but worshipful. We performed, but didn’t listen when God spoke to our hearts, and told us to take the time to place people above ritual.

Jesus is the one who can break the chains of ritual that sometimes become so deeply ingrained in us, we unintentionally allow them to take something good, and turn it into something not so good.

Are there any chains of ritual you’ve allowed to enslave you?

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Samuel replied, “Has the Lord as much pleasure in your burnt offerings and sacrifices as in your obedience? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. He is much more interested in your listening to him than in your offering the fat of rams to him. I Samuel 15:22 (TLB)

I wish you well.


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