1 Samuel 15.22 asks, what is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
Our thinking about God is rather ludicrous sometimes if we seriously consider how we treat Him. We like to think that God is pleased with us when we attend some religious activity, give a couple of bucks to a good cause or complete some random act of kindness.
We behave as though God is bought off by our token displays of affection. Seriously?
Wouldn’t a real God demand more than token acknowledgement of His presence in the universe? Wouldn’t a real God measure His creation by more than the least they could do for Him? Wouldn’t a real God expect more than an hour of our time, a tenth of our income or an occasional act of kindness toward our fellow man?
What kind of God can be appeased so easily? Supposedly the Christian God it would appear by the way most ‘believers’ engage their god.
The kindness of God is given to us in order to lead us to repentance. God as loving Father seeks intimacy in a relationship with His created children. Therefore He waits patiently and quietly for us to come to Him. That’s really His problem in marketing Himself to us.
We hate to be ignored or placated. We respond in anger and revenge. If we were God we would demand people recognize us as such and behave accordingly. Yet our children cause us to be like God don’t they? They have a tendency to disobey us, ignore us and placate us.
We love them anyway. We desire a relationship with them that causes them to want to honor us, to seek our friendship and to serve us willingly. It is impossible to force or demand such a relationship. It has to be given.
This is what God seeks from us as well. God is love, His command is that we love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbor as our self. God isn’t pacified by random displays of religious devotion. God is pleased when we love Him deeply and sincerely which causes us to seek Him diligently, give liberally and care for others compassionately.
God will judge each of us when we pass from this life to the next. The religious will expect God to measure them based on their performance and will find that their actions left them far short of what is required to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Those who love God will find God embracing them and welcoming them into His eternal kingdom with no mention at all of their previous performance because heaven is entered through a love relationship and not through religious performance.