SUNDAY January 6, 2019
Return to the LORD
Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” So the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.
1 Samuel 7:3-4
The Ark of the Covenant, which represents God’s presence, remained in Kirjath Jearim for twenty years, and still the people of Israel had not repented of their idolatry. Samuel, who had grown up in the tabernacle, became a judge in Israel. He spoke to the people about true repentance. God wanted His people to return to Him with all their hearts; only then would His deliverance come.
Samuel, as a spiritual leader, told Israel to put away the foreign gods from among them––the Baals and the Ashtoreths, the gods of fertility. They must prepare their hearts before the Lord and serve Him only. The people responded to Samuel’s words, and the entire nation repented.
Today, anything you have placed before God that has first priority in your life is an idol. It can be social media, your car, your house, your wife or husband, even your children. God expects us to repent of any idolatry. He desires that we daily prepare our hearts before Him. He wants to be first in our lives. We need to serve the Lord with our whole hearts.
As Christians, do we really listen and respond to God’s Word taught by a spiritual leader––a pastor? Honestly, many people need to come to the place of repentance, repentance, repentance. I cannot say it enough times––there has to be true repentance. This must be the humble condition of our lives before God’s deliverance can come.
Another proof of the conquest of a soul for Christ will be found in a real change of life. If the man does not live differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance needs repented of, and his conversion is a fiction.
~C H Spurgeon~
For more from Raul Ries, please visit Somebodylovesyouradio.org!