Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 7:1-17
Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “if you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtareth. Determine to obey only the Lord; then he will rescue you from the Philistines. (1 Sam. 7:3 NLT)
How many of us at one time or another has said, “Tomorrow I am going to _________.” You can fill in the blank with such statements as: lose weight, begin a daily exercise program, fix that ___, spend more time with the Lord, go over and visit my friend in the nursing home, get out of debt, talk to my neighbor about Christ, or any number of other good intention promises.
Tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes and no steps are taken to fulfill any of the promises we made to ourselves and the Lord. This type of behavior begs the questions: “Are we really serious about making these changes or keeping our promises?”
Samuel confronted the Israelites with the same questions, “If you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtareth.” For twenty years the people of Israel had abandoned God, and “during that time, all Israel mourned because it seemed that the Lord had abandoned them” (7:2b).They turned to other gods and refused to follow God’s laws. Samuel didn’t waste words—he cut right to the core of their dilemma. If you want to receive help from the Lord, then, will God rescue you from the Philistines.
There was a time in my Christian walk when I thought that I could handle everything in my own strength. I took over as pilot and wouldn’t let go of the wheel. Everything seemed to go smooth for a spell, but then everything began to unravel. I didn’t know how to deal with the drug culture of that day. Nothing in my past life prepared me for the discovery that several of my children were participating in drugs. How do I deal with this issue? What do I say to turn them away from the influences around them? I cried out to the Lord, but no answers came. I felt all alone and unable to deal with the magnitude of the problems. It seemed as if the Lord was saying, “You wanted to go it alone without me, and here are the results.” For the first time in my life I came to realize that my control was not working, and I needed to ask forgiveness, and give control of my life over to the Lord.
What would it mean for you to get serious about your relationship with God? It might mean removing an idol, or keeping some of the promises you’ve made to the Lord, It might mean changing an attitude, or being willing to give over control of your life to the Lord.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I give complete control of my life over to you. You be the pilot.