To return to a spouse after some mutually agreed separation, there will normally be some things that you and your spouse would have to forget about and leave behind. In today’s Scripture the Israelites wanted to return to God, but Samuel warned them that they would have to rid themselves of certain bad habits and selfish acquisitions they acquired while they drifted away from Him. This is an eye-opening reminder for us today, for Christians might come to their senses and try to return to their King, hoping that God will overlook their sin. Stay tuned as we apply this truth to our lives…..
DATE POSTED Thursday, 2021-10-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BY: Ed Algreen
SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Samuel 7:3
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 3 Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you want to return to the Lord with all your hearts, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Turn your hearts to the Lord and obey him alone; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.”
APPLICATION: As in our story today, I was reminded that we may allow different things to intrude in our Christian lives that could very easily cause us pain and heartache. As our Heavenly Father, imagine how hurt God must be when He watches His children cave in to sin and the ungodly things of this world. But what do you suppose the average Christian suspects will happen when we come face to face with Jesus. Do we hope that God will just overlook these extracurricular things that hindered our relationship with Him? The bottom line is that I believe we are very much like the Israelites who were cautioned by Samuel, in that we must avoid taking our ‘trash’ before our Holy God and expect Him to bless it. First we must humble ourselves before God; Seek His forgiveness; and Willingly rid ourselves of the objects of sin that we have allowed to impede our relationship with Him. I believe we must pay close attention to our priorities, for we may have allowed several other things to take God’s place in our lives, and some we may not even realize. While I don’t know of a Bible verse to support this list of priorities for us to live by, I believe one could discern this priority list from reading God’s Word: 1). God; 2). Family; 3). Church; 4). Work; 5). Friends; 6). The world. Let me suggest trying to evaluate what happens when you swap around any of these things. Can you see where chaos could easily result? Can you see where one area loses proper focus when you concentrate more on a lesser important area more than you should? Often it is when our priorities are out of order when we start becoming attached to idols, when we start doing other things that distract our focus from our #1 priority, God. Friends, God created us to worship Him and bless His people. When we choose anything else above that, we are messing up. It’s a very simple process Samuel gave to the Israelites: 1). Get rid of your idols (other gods); 2). Turn your heart/soul/mind towards the Lord; and 3). Obey only the Lord God – read and obey His Word. Try this, dear friend, and I believe you will be lifted up, drawn closer to God, and protected against the evil one. This makes you better usable for kingdom work, and more attractive for the sinner to follow as they seek God. Remember, where the heart is, so will your soul mind and actions be.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Fix your heart on the things of this world and there your heart, soul and mind will be. Fix your heart on God and there your heart, soul and mind will be. God is worthy of our honor, praise and worship!
PRAYER: Lord, we praise You for who You are, and for all You mean to us. Unfortunately, that praise diminishes as our dedication to You diminishes. Please drive away the things that distract us from You, and set our minds on the things of Christ. Please help us to keep our priorities straight, so that it will be obvious to our lost world whose we are. The Israelites needed an adjustment made in their lives, and I believe that many Christians and our respective churches are in need of a similar adjustment today. Please gently tug on the hearts of your children today so that we may be drawn back to You and wholly dedicated to Your purpose and will. In Your presence is where the glory shines, and our world needs that glory more and more every day. May Your children/disciples be the channel that you will use to brighten this old sinful world and cause them to look towards our King! AMEN!