God, Help Me (Part 2)
Psalm 36:5 “Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies” (NIV).
If you didn’t do the Going Deeper section last time, we talked about getting rid of the bad things (sin, bad habits) in our lives. However, it is no secret that someone cannot simply remove a bad habit from her life. Either the bad habit will come back, or she will replace it with a new one. Think about smokers: One of the most widely-used methods that people use to break a smoking habit is chewing gum. This is the attempt to replace the bad habit with a good habit. If I wanted to watch less TV, I wouldn’t sit in the family room with the TV off! I would probably leave the room and try to find something else to do.
What are some new (good!) habits you can create to replace the old ones?
God helps us. He wants to help us. Sometimes, we forget that he is asking us to do good things not because he likes rules, but because he knows that these good things will help us in the end. He really does love us.
Work this week at starting some new, better habits. Even better—work at finding ways that you can seek God. God really wants to help you, but you need to be listening to him in order to know how he is helping!
Let’s continue this story! We will begin back in verse 2 as a reminder.
Read 1 Samuel 7:2-11
So last time we talked about getting rid of the sin in our lives. What are you trying to get rid of? How is it going?
Then, Samuel told them to commit themselves to the Lord and serve him only. In what ways could you make a commitment to God and in what ways could you serve Him?
Finally, Samuel prayed for the Israelites so that God would help them. One great thing about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is that those of us who believe in him will receive the Holy Spirit. In this, we do not need a priest (like Samuel) to pray for us to God—we can pray to him ourselves! Take some time now to pray for God’s help (don’t keep reading…pray first!)
Many times God allows us to live through our earthly consequences to our actions. That is why he gives us so many guidelines—because he knows what is best for us both on earth and in heaven. However, even when we are not faithful and find ourselves lost in our own mistakes, he provides a way out to a better, more fulfilling life. The way out is by following his way through seeking him first.
The situation described in the introduction was not easy to overcome. I had to admit my own fault and accept the earthly consequences to what I had done. I had to turn away from a lifestyle that I had grown accustomed to. I had to trust that God would give me something better, even when I couldn’t see it or even imagine it. I certainly didn’t deserve anything better. I stuck his word and fought all temptation around me to go back. Today, I stand as a testimony to his love and faithfulness in a life so much greater than I could have ever imagined.
Life Application and Further Study
First, we need to address a common saying: “God helps those who help themselves.” This isn’t true! None of us has even earned what God has done for us, in fact God’s mercy is without condition. However, we can still understand that our actions on earth can have consequences. In addition, we need to understand that God does require certain things of us if we are to follow him. Following Jesus takes sacrifice, but let’s remember that Jesus paid the highest sacrifice.
Read Psalms 36 and 37. Write down the ways God wants you to act. Then write down the ways that God is faithful. Make your actions resemble those of which God approves, and look for his faithfulness in your life.