The needs of God’s people are real, and they must be taken care of. Is that reason enough to act? No, it isn’t, because God Himself desires to be the One who meets His people’s needs. Therefore, we should not respond to a need apart from God, for when we do, we fall into religion. Due to his religious response, Saul lost his value before God as a man who could rule for Him. Rather than responding to needs directly, as Saul did, let us go to the Lord to seek His heart.
When we are honored by God with some responsibility as Saul was, our immediate response is usually to try to be faithful to what has been committed to us. This often takes the form of doing what is right, what is necessary, or what is expected. When we do things for God in this way, however, we are being religious, because we do them apart from God. Even this book could cause you to do something that will only be religious if it is not of God Himself. Whenever we think, “That’s it!” or “This is the way!” then we should realize we need to stop ourselves and check with the Lord. All such things can lead us into religion if they become a means for us to do something for God independent of Him in our self-life.
Saul was very good in so many ways, yet he failed to satisfy God, not because he was evil but because he was religious. His religious nature offended the Lord.
Adapted from David: After God’s Heart, page 32.
Monday: “Offering without Seeking God”