Today's reading: 1 Samuel 4:1-22
After suffering a defeat in battle against the Philistines, the Israelites are perplexed by God's seeming inaction. So they send for the ark of the covenant assuming that its presence would give them victory over their enemy. They were wrong, and the Philistines ended up severely routing them, with 30,000 Israelites dying in round two of the battle. The Israelites weren't devoted to or following God. Yet, their expectation was that God should and would act on their behalf and protect them. They were operating on what I'll call an "insurance policy" mindset. After all, they were God's people, so of course God should protect them.
This kind of mindset was disastrous for Israel and it can be disastrous for us as well, and I'm speaking from experience. There was a period of years in my 20s and 30s where I lived with that "insurance policy" mindset. I did whatever I wanted and God was most definitely on the back burner. However, if something seriously difficult came up, then I would look to God for help. That strategy didn't work well for me. God allowed me to fall--hard--to get my attention. As I look back, I'm thankful for God's love and continued pursuit of me in those self-focused years.
What is your mindset when it comes to who God is and the role He plays in your life? What sorts of things help you keep serving God at the forefront rather than thinking about God as a safety net? Tami
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