Joel Singleton

Digital & Church Partnerships Coordinator

CBN Europe

One day a delivery drivers’ engine had completely gone on his van. So, he took his van to the garage, explained the problem, and was told to come back at the end of the working week. Five days later he came back. Confused he asked, ‘Where’s my van?’ The mechanic proceeded to explain that he’d tinted the windows, spray painted it a different colour, put fancy flashing wheels on, and added extra seats in the back. Oh, and he fixed the engine too. With a smile he said, ‘You can pay me for the engine, and I’ll give you the rest.’  

Now, that probably cost the mechanic quite a lot. But I can’t help thinking the delivery driver wouldn’t be best pleased. He’d asked for the engine to be fixed so that he could do his job. Now his company logo is covered, there’s no space in the back, and it’s simply not what he asked. The mechanic spent time, effort, and money on this work and expected the driver to be grateful. But it’s not what the driver asked for. 

Proverbs 21:3 says, “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” 


1 Samuel 15:22 says, “To obey is better than sacrifice,” 

I don’t want to get to the end of my life, stand before Jesus and be offended that He’s not best pleased with a lifetime of sacrifices He didn’t ask me to make. I don’t want to be the mechanic in this story. There are things in your life, in my life, that God has asked us to do, and we have to be careful we don’t add to it or take from it. He’s asked us to be obedient, not sacrifice what we think we should.  

What areas in your life can you apply this to today?   

When we obey Him rather than sacrifice for Him, we save ourselves time and we know we’re doing the right thing. I’ve sacrificed far too many things in life only to get annoyed at God when it became too difficult. I’ve even convinced myself He asked me to do it. I could have saved myself some difficult lessons if I sought to obey Him rather than sacrifice for Him. King Saul is a great example of this (see 1 Samuel 15:1-22).  

By the way, sacrifice doesn’t always mean doing something for someone when they haven’t asked. It can often mean doing something for our own benefit, under the guise of doing it for someone else. 

Perhaps you’re leading a group that requires time, effort and money. It’s a sacrifice. But has God asked you to do it?  

Perhaps you’re starting a new project that’s a sacrifice. But has God asked you to do it?  

Maybe you’re serving in Church in an area that isn’t your gifting. You sacrifice every week. But has God asked you to do it? 

We’ll save ourselves a lot of frustration, heart ache, and wasted time if we begin to obey God in the things He’s asked, rather than sacrifice what we choose.  

What areas in your life can you apply this to today?   

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