When Samuel admonished Saul for preserving livestock and King Agag of the Amelekites, he asked:
"Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry" (II Samuel 15:22-23).
Couple that with what Jeremiah echoes:
"I (God) did not speak to our fathers...concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices: but this is what I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice...and walk in all the way which I command you'" (7:22-23).
What a simple directive that is! OBEY My voice...! Because God said it, He means He will speak and direct us. It means all we need in order to be obedient will be supplied for us. It does mean we must listen for His voice and to what He says. And it does mean we have to put feet to what we hear Him say. God cannot obey for us.
When believers choose not to obey God's voice and His word (direction) and do not listen to either the conviction of the Holy Spirit or the voice of the one(s) sent by God to redirect them, they harden their hearts from following God and fall into idolatry. Samuel called that rebellion and witchcraft. Jeremiah further said in 7:19 that it caused them to spite to their own shame and
"to walk in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and go backward, and not forward" (7:24).
Idolatry in Old Testament times meant the Israelites worshipped gods made with their hands or chose a created 'thing' like ' the queen of heaven' (Jeremiah 7:18) to which they made sacrifices. In our modern culture we don't intentionally make figures to worship. Instead, folks fall prey to 'stuff' like cars, money, grand houses, hobbies, clothes or social strata, and chase after their idol(s) in one form or other, becoming a slave to them. But they all are objects made by human hands!
In a church that has lost the glory of God and His presence through disobedience to the Holy Spirit, individual believers have lost their own first love for God. The traditions and outward appearance of what once was blessed worship remain intact and become religious idolatry: sacrifices and ritual, even in non-traditional churches.
Anything that is not of God is of satan. The spirit of religion snares and traps people in their empty traditions that still appear to them to be correct. It takes a move of the Holy Spirit to break off the chains and to remove the scales from their spiritual eyes, so they can once again know God and worship Him in truth (faith and steadfastness).
It is a dangerous thing NOT to obey God! You cannot afford NOT to listen to God's voice when He speaks to your heart. When you dare to disobey God or even delay your obedience, it is SIN! Disobedience is sin!
Do not walk in sin. Fix your allegiance on God. Do not fool yourself. Time is short. Walk in obedience. Eternity has no end---hell is forever! Don't go there!