Where does God draw the line on obedience? Saul wiped out the Amalekites like God had told him to. But he took King Agag alive, and brought the best livestock back to Israel as plunder, both of which were acts of disobedience. Later, he would tell Samuel he only did that so they’d have animals to sacrifice to God. (sounds spiritual). But if you read these chapters today you’ll see God was not having it. He had drawn the line on obedience, and Saul ignored it.
Where does God draw the line on our obedience? I was with some Christian women the other day when joking came very nearly blasphemy. The use of Jesus’ name was thrown around, kind of on the order of “Jesus take the wheel” when I’m doing something I shouldn’t be doing. Where does God draw the line around, “Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain?” (Exodus 20:7) Do Christians who say, “Oh my God,” when surprised, or “Lordy, Lordy,” in conversation, cross the line God has drawn around obedience?
I recently heard someone say, “I’m a Christian, but I cuss.” Where is the line around, “let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth” (Exodus 4:29), and “out of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34)?
What about the Christian who says, “I might think bad thoughts, but I’d never act on them?” Didn’t Jesus make it clear that sin isn’t just something you do, but those thoughts are sin, too? (Matthew 5:27-28).
And where does God draw the line around, “the wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23)? Can people who live with unrepented sin call themselves Christians? (1 John 1:10, James 2:18)
I’m just thinking out loud here. But shouldn’t someone who loves Jesus be grieved by sin, and turn from it immediately instead of growing comfortable in it? If God draws the line around obedience – around holiness – shouldn’t that be the line we draw, too?