If you had the choice between living in luxury or leaving a legacy, which one would you choose? Most of us would probably try to pick both, but these two values are often in competition with one another. Do we make decisions that best impact the life we are living right now, or make decisions that will leave an impact both now and long after we’re gone? It’s the never ending struggle between instant gratifications and delayed gratification. In this week’s message, we look at the life of a man named Saul from the Bible who appeared set up for nothing but success, but made 3 critical mistakes that caused him to miss out on all that God had intended for him. See what choices you need to make in order to avoid these mistakes and allow God to determine what success looks like in your life.



Most of us struggle between two competing values: comfort and significance.

We choose between gratification and legacy and impact. You don’t have to have these values to be known, to be “successful” in the eyes of your peers or to leave you kids a financial base. BUT you DO if you want to pass this test:


1 Corinthians 3: 12-20

  • Two lived may look identical before this “fire” but completely different after
  • On which side of eternity do you want to have the greater assets?
  • This doesn’t mean you can’t have both; but one must come first. Choose wisely.

King Saul

1 Samuel 9:1-2

Saul comes from a wealthy family, is good looking and physically intimidating. Know anyone like that? They usually end up successful, right?

  • 1 Samuel 14:47


  • Reed Hastings starts Netflix after a $40 late fee from Blockbuster.
  • Blockbuster has 9,000 stores worth $5B when Reed offered to sell them Netflix for $50M
  • Now, Blockbuster is bankrupt and Netflix is worth $152B due to Blockbuster’s arrogance
  • Blockbuster is King Saul and King David becomes the next king


Sauls Mistakes

1.Saul confused giftedness with Godliness

  • 1 Samuel 15:2-3 Amalekites were evil, oppressive, murderous
  • 1 Samuel 15:7-9 Is this what God asked him to do?
  • 1 Samuel 15:10 Being good at what you do does not mean what you do is right. Saul believed his success justified his disobedience

2. Saul assumed his great success outweighed his small sin

  • 1 Samuel 15:13-15 Saul obeyed God except the things he didn’t want to
    • Are we any different?

1 Samuel 15:22-23

  • Saul’s world crashes down like a house tried by fire burnt up.
  • The popular phrase “Better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission” violates the very first commandment
  • He traded God’s favor for wealth, prosperity, and respect
  • He rationalized his disobedience with pragmatism (what’s practical)

3. He mistook God’s patience for God’s pleasure 

1 Samuel 15:34-16:1 Because he’d not felt the consequence of his disobedience, he assumed God was still pleased with him, overall.

  • God passed him up for someone through whom he could work
  • God loves you but your sin is still a problem
  • For your sake, if you’re not living for God’s glory, repent

Being blessed doesn’t always mean wealth. Wealth doesn’t always mean blessings. Obedience brings blessing. Blessing means legacy.

  • You get your family out of poverty for generations, but for generations your family is led into an eternity apart from God in Hell. Were you successful?
  • You can have both, but only if you chase obedience first.


You must decide who determines your definition of success.

You must decide if obedience to God will be the path by which you will accomplish great things in life or not.

Your choice will be seen in the 9 areas of your life that we will unpack next week.