If you grew up in the “church” it was drilled into you that obedience is better than sacrifice. Comes from I Samuel 15:22 where Saul disobeys the Lord by not following His explicit instructions. There is some interesting dialog that most times, we read over and miss.
1 Sam 15:17-22 “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’ 19 Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?” 20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. 21 Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” 22 But Samuel replied,
“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. NLT
Notice the first bold area, “you may think little of yourself but you are the leader…..” Maybe you are reading this and thinking the same, I am really not that important, there are so many others who are much more important than I am. But if you are a leader of any kind, in any sphere, it is extremely important that the decisions you make are the right ones because people are learning from you. You cannot get away from the fact that you are an influencer. Let me put it this way, “People are watching you!” And your actions are influencing others to make good decisions or justify their poor ones depending on decisions that you are making. So, make the best decisions by obeying the Lord in all things.
As to the last bold area, it is easy to read over it without the in-depth understanding as to why obedience is better than sacrifice. Simply said, sacrifice is giving God what I want, obedience it giving Him what He asks for. Sometimes, the differences between the two can be quite a distance. And that can mean the difference between success and failure. Never let any amount of sacrifice cloud out your need to be obedient to what He is asking you to do.