Read 1 Samuel 15: 16-23.
“And Samuel said, Hath 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 hearken than the fat of rams” (v. 22).
We often make decisions based upon what our priorities of the moment may be. Sometimes an immediate decision may reflect a momentary crisis or desire that is not in keeping with our long-term goals or intentions. This is often the cause for later hardship in our lives. The compulsive spender often bemoans his inability to save for larger purchases, the impulsive speaker often regrets the damage caused to relationships due to their quick tongue, and the person that has lived their life only for self regrets their loneliness in their latter years.
While obedience should be an automatic response for those serving God, we must recognize that there are times in our lives that it must be an intentional response. The demonstration of priority is often reflected in the promptness and completeness of our response to God. Most Christians usually desire to obey God but often will delay that obedience until a more convenient time or in a more convenient manner for them. They will often offer some type of service (or sacrifice) in place of an immediate complete response. A token type of obedience is often exposed as a heart disobedience by the excuses and justifications surrounding it (think of Cain’s sacrifice) and is not accepted by God as true obedience. (Tim J. Brubeck)
Delayed obedience is disobedience.