"What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice." ~ 1 Samuel 15:22
Jacob DeShazer was a member of “Doolittle’s Raiders”—the famous elite flying unit chosen to engage in a daring air-raid of Japan shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II.
Low on fuel after the bombing run, DeShazer and his fellow crewman were forced to parachute into China. There they were captured by the Japanese and held in torturous captivity. Jacob spent forty months in a prison camp. (Thirty-four of those months were in solitary confinement.) During that time, he saw fellow prisoners starved, beaten, and shot to death. It didn’t take long for a deep hatred of all Japanese people to consume the airman.
Then, he received a Bible while in confinement. Within its pages, he encountered the love of Christ, and that love began to change the Raider from the inside out. After the war ended, DeShazer went back to America but soon felt God calling him to Japan!
It was not the easiest thing to follow God’s leading to the country whose men had treated him and his fellow crewmen so brutally, yet DeShazer obeyed. He would spend the next thirty years sharing Christ’s love and hope with the people of Japan.
Obedience is not always easy. Roger Staubach, who led the Dallas Cowboys to Super Bowl Championships in 1971 and 1978, admitted that his position as a quarterback who didn't call his own signals was a source of trial for him. Coach Landry sent in every play. Even though Roger considered coach Landry to have a "genius mind," pride said that he should be able to run his own team.
Roger would later comment, "I faced up to the issue of obedience. Once I learned to obey, there was harmony, fulfillment, and victory."
The same is true in our relationship with the Lord.