I have been thinking about this: When will people re-arrange their lives for Jesus?
Sometimes we encounter people who make God a low priority in their lives. The love inside of me says, “Don’t you know that God made you a high priority when He sent Jesus to the cross!” I doubt my attitude is “righteous anger”, but more like disappointment.
As I read through God’s Word, I think I got a partial answer in 1 Samuel 7.
The prophet Samuel, was put into the position as judge over the nation by God. For twenty years he judged the people as they pursued other interest than God. This wasn’t their first twenty years of pursuing their own interest, but it was the start of Samuel’s assignment to stand between God and the nation.
It took twenty years for the people to cry out to God. It took certain life circumstances to change their hearts. You see, the Philistines were making their push to wipe them out and the situation became desperate. When they cried out to God, they sought Samuel to intercede for them.
He said, “If your heart is real about this, then put aside those foreign gods and serve God with your whole heart.” They put away the Baals and Asheroth and Samuel gathered them together at Mizpah.
There they poured out water and fasted.
You know me, I had to stop and wonder why did they pour out water. I searched and researched and read commentaries. I boiled it down to this: repentance takes actions.
To make a change, you have to do something and the first thing to do is to pour out — your life. They emptied life (water) and kept their stomach’s empty (fasted). They repented by putting themselves in a needy position before God.
And it was at that time of repentance and vulnerability, that the enemy came against them to attack. God’s timing is perfect. He drew them close to Him through repentance. He gathered them all in one place and He brought them to a place of physical and spiritual vulnerability.
They knew for sure that they were going to be attacked and annihilated. They turn to Samuel and said, “Don’t stop crying out to God on our behalf!” They were now at a point that they knew how to react to adversity, they turned their full attention to the one who could save them, the LORD!
Three chapters earlier they were attacking the Philistines and losing badly. They lost men, they lost the battle but worse, they lost God’s presence.
Now, just over twenty years later, they didn’t lose one man, they won a battle they couldn’t win and the best part of it all, they saw that God was with them again.
Things we can learn:
- Always pour yourself out in repentance when we fail or sin, He is willing to pour into us all that we need to not fail or sin again,
- In repentance we are vulnerable to the enemies attack, get someone with spiritual maturity and power to go through it with you,
- God is Mighty to Save, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” John 6:37
To get back to my initial question: When will people re-arrange their lives for Jesus?
This passage teaches us that
people we will re-arrange their lives for Jesus when they we are desperate for God’s presence and power. Then, repentance and reliance will change our priorities in life.