1 Samuel 12:20 | Don’t Give Up

serve

I have a few flaws. Serious character defects that I have spent a lifetime working trying to prevent from making me a living disaster. Everyone, even perfect people, have their own defects and demons to wrestle with. Some flaws are very visible and others are more easily hidden. No one wants to list their sins and hang ups because we want the world to think we have it all together. I don’t have it all together. I have sins that interrupt my relationship with God. Anxiety is first. I replay my past stupid actions over and over in my mind each day. Failures especially where others were hurt or I embarrassed myself accuse me to no end. Anxiety wears me down and keeps me from interacting with others as I should. Another issue for me is Lust. Food and fun where I am all about making myself full searching to consume everything around me. I am always thinking about what I can purchase or pursue next. Lusts of the world overpower the contentment I should have in Christ. These are the broad strokes on my defects my sins. The problem with these defects is that I choose them over a relationship with God. I don’t pray or get still to listen to God like I should or to the depth that I want because these are always before me.

I share these to make a point that all people are sinners. If you dear reader are thinking “I am a good person” and there is nothing to worry about then I have a challenge for you. First know that all people are flawed and all people are sinners. There are no exceptions.

There’s nobody living right, not even one, nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God. They’ve all taken the wrong turn; they’ve all wandered down blind alleys. No one’s living right; I can’t find a single one. Romans 3:10-11 MSG

So here is the challenge. Take some time to get quiet. Go to a closet, a remote hiking trail, a car parked away from the crowd and ask God to show you the blind alley you have traveled down. Ask God to reveal the wrong turns taken. Ask God to reveal to you the flaws and defects that are sins against family and against Him. He will open you heart and eyes to the reality of your issues.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalms 139:23-24 ESV

The people of Israel wanted a king other than God. God relented and set them up with a King but he made it clear that what they asked for was evil and wrong because by asking to be like every other nation they were rejecting God as king. They took a wrong turn and found themselves in a blind alley.

20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 1 Samuel 12:20-21 ESV

I think about my lusts and all the stuff I want. Samuel is speaking to me “things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty”. Is Christ not enough? Is a relationship with God not enough? Can I not trust him to be all fulfilling? The thing about lust is that it is never satisfied. People chase all the things of this world but those things leave them empty. What I am doing is evil. Yet Samuel also speaks to me. Don’t be afraid. Don’t give up. Don’t turn away from God. You may be chasing something or hiding from something but continue to desire God. Continue to serve Him. Peter preached a similar word in a famous sermon at the dawn of the Christian church.

36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:36 – 38 ESV

Whatever my personal sins, defects, and character flaws may be and no matter how grievous they have been to others, myself, and God they have all been forgiven. Jesus Christ died to give me forgiveness. Even though I have broken the laws he has given me a presidential pardon.

Do not turn aside. Do not give up. Repent every time. Serve God not yourself. Rest in the name of Jesus and listen to the Holy Spirit that is a gift from him. Submit and serve Jesus he makes you righteous even with your flaws.

for the righteous falls seven times and rises again Psalms 24:16a ESV

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