Good morning Church family,
This morning I was reading in 1 Samuel the part where Israel decided it needed a King. They had had God as their King up until this point but felt something was missing. Having their own earthly King would put them on equal par with the rest of the surrounding cultures. Samuel warns them; it is only if you and your King follow God and His ways that this will work, for God must always be first in your lives. As it happens the King is Saul and at first he follows God but then the power gets to him and it all ends in disaster. And this story is something we see throughout the Bible, well intentioned followers of God fall because they forget to make God the centre of who they are.
You see God gives each of us free will to chose Him, He allows us to make our own decisions. Problem is that sometimes we forget that God is all knowing, that He loves us dearly, that His ways lead to life and so we choose not to follow Him and sadly face the consequences. Like any good parent, God loves us enough to let us fall in the hope that we will learn our lesson and come back to Him more faithful and more obedient because we realise His intentions have always been for our good, His ways prove to be true and best and He loves us. That actually it is our pride and sinful nature that tells us to go in the other direction, we hear the same lies they heard in the garden and we fall for it. There is no harm in eating the fruit, it tastes wonderful, and then you find a moment of pleasure leads to a lifetime of death. But praise be to our God whose loving mercy conquered this lifetime of death and sin with the cross. That is why I love the scripture “ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV)” because it is a daily reminder to me to stay the course, to learn my lesson, to follow the course even when I hear conflicting voices (Satan, culture, my pride). God has done so much for me, He has forgiven me, He leads me to green pastures and so I want to live a life that honours His name.