Thursday, May 24
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. The Philistines ended up severely routing them, with 30,000 Israelites dying in round two of the battle.
The Israelites were operating on what I'll call an "insurance policy" mindset. In other words, they weren't devoted to or following God, yet their expectation was that God should and would act on their behalf when they needed it. After all, they were God's chosen people, so of course God should protect them.
This kind of mindset 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 according to this "insurance policy" approach. I did whatever I wanted and placed God on the back burner. However, if I encountered something difficult, then I would turn to God for help. That strategy didn't work well for me. Like He did with the Israelites, 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 (and yes, my hard fall experience) in those extremely self-focused years.
What is your mindset when it comes to who God is and the role He plays in your life? What are one or two things that help you have and maintain a mindset of following after and serving God, rather than thinking about God as a convenience or safety net? Tami
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