Your Bible Boost
Not too long ago I read of a man, at the ocean beach, who fell asleep on his inflatable raft. About an hour later he awoke to find himself 5 miles out to sea. WOW! That was a rude awakening to find himself that far out to sea. We know that boats, just like this inflatable raft, without an anchor or rudder can be tossed to a fro by the wind and the waves. In the same way our spiritual lives can drift. In our present world of ups and downs and mighty winds, sometimes, we can find ourselves far away from God. Many times in the Old Testament, the nation of Israel drifted from God. Sometimes the nation found themselves far from God, either by not paying attention, drifting or at other times by purposefully seeking other gods and worshipping idols.
I Samuel 4-7 is a prime example of their spiritual drift. Maybe, as each of us evaluate our spiritual condition today, we find ourselves “out to sea”, drifting or far away from God. Maybe it’s by neglect, a sinful habit or a purposeful move away from God. Before we know it we find that we have drifted far away from God. I’ve got good news. The prophet Samuel in I Samuel 7:3 tells the nation of Israel how they can find their way back to God. We can learn a lesson here. The question is, would Israel do what prophet Samuel told them to do?
Here is Samuel’s four steps back to God and if we find ourselves “out to sea” these 4 steps will help us get back on track.
1 – Return to the Lord – That means – course correction. If we find ourselves off course, then we must DECIDE TO RETURN to the proper course and direction.
2 – Remove – The prophet Samuel told the children of Israel to eliminate the foreign gods in their midst. The same advice is given to us if we find ourselves far from God. Usually something or someone has come between us and our heavenly Father that causes us to be far away from Him. Maybe, we need to eliminate an ungodly friend, maybe the internet, maybe a habit. Whatever it is, if there is a wedge between that “thing” and God, we will not be able to get closer to God unless it is eliminated.
3 – Repent – Samuel told the Israelites to “prepare their hearts FOR the Lord”. That is, make an “a bow face”, a true reversal. They (we) must turn from the direction they were going and RETURN to the Lord God. Change of direction and repent of their disobedience.
4 – Respond – Serve the Lord God ALONE. They had allowed Baal and the Ashtoreh to turn their affections and behavior away from the Lord God of Israel. So, Samuel tells them to serve the Lord God and Him ALONE. That also applies to us today.
We must choose whose side we are on. If God be God (and HE IS) then let us desire to serve HIM and HIM alone.
GOOD NEWS! Israel did exactly what the prophet Samuel told them. Repent and return to God ALONE. So, they went against the Philistines and defeated them. In fact, Samuel named the place, “Ebenezer” – ‘the Lord has helped us’.
Wow! It was a true course correction.
Question? Are you finding yourself off course, drifting or far away from God? Listen to the Prophet Samuel’s solution in I Samuel 7:3: Return, Remove, Repent and Respond!
Let us each one seek to move closer to our Heavenly Father each and every day.
Praying for each one of you,