“Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal.” 1 Samuel 15:10-12
Have you questioned why you were passed over for a promotion that you were more than qualified for? Have you had moments of success that were short-lived and don’t understand why? If you’ve retraced your steps and are unable to understand why then maybe there it’s a fundamental issue.
Saul was considered “small time” in the eyes of his contemporaries but God selected him to be king over Israel. In the beginning he possessed qualities and characteristics that God rewards and God promoted him to the highest position in Israel. Charisma and personality are qualities that are often perceived as required to climb the ladder of success. Yet God does not look upon the appearance of a man/woman but the character of a man/woman.
Saul allowed pride to take up residence in his life without serving it with an eviction notice. Pride feels good. Pride presents a presumptuous image of ourselves that makes us feel successful without the hard work of developing genuine character.
In 1 Samuel 15 we discover that King Saul built a monument for himself. Be leery of a leader who builds a monument in their own honor. It’s one thing for people to sing your praises, which a leader should be careful not to play that song on repeat, yet when a leader sings their own praises, you have a pride issue.
His overinflated view of himself and his abilities caused him to think that he was on a level all by himself. There was no one who could give him counsel or relate to him because no one was as great as him. He failed to obey God’s instructions because he believed he knew better than God.
We disobey because we believe that we know something the one asking us to obey does not know or believe they are withholding better options from us. When we disobey we are elevating our desire over doing what is right. At the heart of disobedience is self-gratification. We want it our way, period.
“for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
Our successes, accomplishments and discoveries are a gift from God. It is God who works in us, to will and to work His good pleasure. God promotes us to give us a higher platform so that we will make Him known. Everything He does for us is for our good and His glory.
We get to enjoy the benefits of success as we give God the glory for them. Giving God the glory for our success is to honor and recognize Him as the source of our success. Saul took both the good (spoils of war) and the glory for the victory (built a monument for himself). It was God who gave the victory but Saul took all the credit.
His disobedience was further evidence of His rejection of God. Pride powered his disobedience and led God to reject Saul as King. When confronted by the prophet Samuel, Saul was given the chance to repent, instead he blamed his guilt on others.
If you’re struggling with obeying God there may be a pride issue to resolve. Maybe you think more highly of yourself than you ought? Maybe you have little confidence in God and think you have a better way?
Trust that God is for you (Romans 8:31) and wants the best for you! God wants to promote you to higher platforms to make Him known. Obedience to God open doors and presents opportunities missed on the path of disobedience.