1 Samuel 7 – Wandering Off

You’ve seen it before. A young child is walking through a store with a parent when the child gets distracted and wanders off. But when the child realizes they can’t see their parent, they begin to feel vulnerable and scared. Their lip starts to quiver, tears begin to roll, and they cry out for their parent with increasing panic and volume.

This is a picture of 1 Samuel chapter 7. The children of Israel have wandered off from God to explore other things. When they begin to miss God’s presence, they mourn, believing God had abandoned them. (1 Sam. 7:2) Samuel points out it was they who abandoned God. (1 Sam. 7:3) Samuel calls them to stop chasing after things that don’t satisfy and instead seek and obey God. (1 Sam. 7:3)

The people respond rightly and return to God. In turn, God’s presence (not their prowess) saves them and brings them security. (1 Sam. 7:10-11)

Like that wandering child or those wandering Israelites, we get distracted by other things (success, financial security, material things, relationships, pleasure, etc.) and we wander off from God. We typically don’t realize it at the time…until things start to fall apart.

Then we wonder why God has left us…when in fact it was we who left Him. (Heb. 13:5) But if we will cry out to Him and submit to Him, He will joyfully and powerfully respond. (James 4:7-10)

So how about it? Look around. Do you see God close by, or have you wandered off from Him. If you’re off by yourself…you now know what to do.

Joshua 6 – Walls

Walls. They prop up our structures. They give us protection, privacy, and a sense of security. Walls can also isolate us, impeded us, and entrap us. All these functions can be good or bad, depending on our motivation.

But any wall that stands between you and what God wants for you needs to come down.

Read moreJoshua 6 – Walls

Numbers 11 – Lighten Up!

I hate to admit it, but I’ve become a complainer…at least more than I used to be.

I’m not sure what happened. I used to be more up-beat, more positive, and more hopeful. It seems as the demands and stresses of life increased, so did my my complaining. Maybe I have more things to complain about now than I did before. (Or maybe I’m just more aware of those things.)

I know some of this is normal and natural. It’s what happens as you grow older. And I certainly don’t want to go through life oblivious to legitimate concerns, but neither do I want to go through life complaining about them.

After reading Numbers chapter 11, I’ve come to realize that complaining doesn’t come from being overly focused on important considerations, but rather from ignoring more important considerations.

Complaining is what happens when we ignore God’s presence, God’s provision, and God’s power. It makes sense, because my complaining if often born out of:

  • Feeling like I’m on my own. (Ignoring God’s presence.)
  • Feeling like I don’t have what I need. (Ignoring God’s provision.)
  • Feeling like something is going to happen to me that I can’t control. (Ignoring God’s power.)

When I focus on God’s presence, provision, then these issues are decidedly answered.

It’s really true…the key to lightening up is looking up!

If you’re one of those people who find yourself complaining more than you use to, try praying this prayer to God every morning: “God, please help each urge to complain trigger me instead to focus on Your presence, provision, and power. Change my heart from focusing on my complaining to focusing on your sustaining.”