Monday, April 11, 2011

Don't Stop Now!

I Samuel 12:20
“Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil, yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.

There is a tendency amongst people that when they’ve done something wrong they are too ashamed to come back around to face the people or person they wronged. The psychology of ‘shame’ will not allow us to get back to where we belong. We are paralyzed with fear that we might be rejected or held accountable so it’s just easier to turn away.

Even in our best intentions we fall short of pure devotion to God. We get into trouble when we start looking around at other people and what they have that we want. We get caught up in acquiring what we don’t need and then discover that it’s not even what God wanted for us. No matter what you’ve done that may have pulled you away from God, you can’t stop pursuing your relationship with God and turn away to idolatry.

The Nation of Israel had messed up with God by asking for a king because the other Nations had a King. God was their King who brought them out of slavery in Egypt, brought them through the wilderness for forty years, and brought them into the Promised Land to defeat their enemies. After they got settled in the land, they wanted what everybody else had,…a King. Isn’t it amazing how God brings us through so much but once we are settled we start wanting what everybody else has and replace God with people or stuff?

What’s wrong with wanting a King? Why is that evil? It was almost like making a golden calf to replace the true and living God. Moses’ absence for forty days and nights on top of the Mountain receiving the Ten Commandments led to anxiety for the people. They needed something physical to replace the Spiritual. Whenever we replace the Spiritual leadership of God with Physical representation (idolatry) we sin against God.

How many times have we made idols out of Kings, Presidents, Pastors, spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, jobs, cars, houses, etc? Nothing or noone should replace God’s place in your life. Well what do you do if you already replaced God with people or stuff and you just feel too ashamed to come back to God? You need to exclaim to God like the old R&B crooner, “I’ve been loving you a little too long but I aint’ gonna stop now!”

1. Do not be afraid. God loves you so much and he knows we are prone to sin. Perfect love casts out fear. Verse 20

2. Do not turn away. Resist the pull of the flesh to turn away from God, instead, run back to God. Verse 20

3. Serve the Lord with all your heart. Get rid of anything that is blocking your wholehearted devotion to God. Verse 20

4. Do not turn away for useless idols. Nothing and no one can take God’s place. V. 21

5. God will not reject his own people. God created us in his image and like a loving parent he will not reject his own. V. 22

6. Pray and get somebody to pray for you. Samuel told Israel that he would continue to pray. The only reason we are still here is because somebody prayed for us. V. 23

7. Get taught the difference between right and wrong. Studying the word of God and hearing the preached word can save your life. V. 23

8. Fear the Lord. Have a healthy respect for who God is and return to a state of awe and leave a place of familiarity. God is not your buddy he is an awesome God. v. 24

9. Serve him faithfully with your whole heart. Find some place in ministry or missions where you can serve God. Idol hands and minds are the devil’s workshop. V. 24

10. Consider what great things he’s done for you. When you stop to think about what God has done for you, you will realize that nobody or nothing could ever take his place. V. 24

Dear God,
I can’t stop loving you. You are my King and I worship you and serve you with my whole heart. Kings and Kingdoms will all pass away but there is something about your name. I submit to your authority and I love you more and more each day.

In Jesus Name,

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