I've been thinking about 1 Samuel 15 a lot lately. God told Saul to "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." v3
So Saul went and did what God commanded.. for the most part. He spared the best of the animals. His intent was to "spare the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction." v15
How often do we do that? God commands us to do something, we do it partially and for the rest we put some "christian excuse" on why we didn't completely obey.
"Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams." v22
God desires complete and utter obedience. That is what pleases him. That is such a hard concept for me to get my head around. Lets say that God calls me to move to Haiti. If I decided that it would be too hard and didn't go, but rather decided to support a bunch of missionaries finically, I would not be pleasing to him. God desires obedience. OR lets say that I do move. I sell all of my possessions, go into a foreign land, leave behind family, friends, comfort, everything and go God would be pleased. But what pleases him isn't the sacrifices that it would take to obey him, rather the simple obedience. The size of the sacrifice is a measurement for us to see our level of commitment but it is not a leveraging tool to please God. God is only pleased by obedience.
I've been reading the book "Hinds Feet for High Places". It is SO good. Here is a quote from it that relates..
"Whenever you are willing to obey me, Much-Afriad, and to follow the path of my choice, you will always be able to hear and recognize my voice, and when you hear it you must always obey. Remember also that it is always safe to obey my voice, even if it seems to call you to paths which look impossible or even crazy."