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12 Weeks of Prayer: Week 2 Day 1

12 Weeks of Prayer Week 2 Day 1

God's Protection Found By Being In His Will

By Rev. Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro

“The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.” -1 Samuel 12:29

Today, I was on the last chapter of our book that is to come out soon, “Can You Miss the Will of God? Yes, You Can!” This verse just popped right out of the page. Let me explain, please.

The nation of Israel decided they no longer wanted Samuel, who was placed by God, as their judge. Samuel’s position as judge meant that he was a ruler, military leader, and he presided over legal hearings. In other words, he was already chosen by God to be their ruler. They wanted just a king. This was birthed from a desire to be like every other nation, never mind what God wanted or desired for them. God had the very best, yet they wanted a king. God had put into place the system of judges, but they wanted a monarchy.

God told Samuel, “It’s not you they rejected. It’s me. I will give them a king.” God forbid that you or I ever hear those words out of God’s mouth. This terrible choice was about to cost them greatly. God found the most prominent man amongst all the men of Israel and a handsome one, too. His name was Saul. He was installed as the first King of Israel.

As soon as King Saul was ordained, Samuel resigned his position as judge. That was the correct thing to do. Israel now had a ruler and the head of the military, too. What a sad day for Israel. Imagine, God’s chosen man was removed just because they wanted to be like the other nations. How could this be? The other nations were ungodly in all their ways. Israel had the real God who fought their every battle and won it for them.

Now, Samuel gave his resignation speech. In the middle of his speech, the Israelites came to the realization that they sinned. They didn’t say, “We made a mistake.” They came right out and admitted to Samuel that they had sinned as we read above. But here is what’s so disturbing: There’s no repentance. It was just, “Samuel, pray to the Lord YOUR God.” "Your" God? Wasn’t God their God, too? Then they admitted that "on top of all their sins, they now added wanting a king.” They didn't cover themselves in sackcloth or pouring ashes on themselves as a sign of repentance. All they cared about was God not punishing them by death. Wow! Just wow!

Before we go accusing and judging them, let’s look at ourselves. How many times were we in that very place of wanting our will versus the will of God? How many times did we completely miss it? Let me tell you something. We do not have to miss the will of God. We miss it only when we insist on doing things our way when we want what we want no matter what and when we buckle under pressure and out of fear. These attributes will always lead us to terrible places of regrets, sorrow, and pain.

King Saul lasted almost 24 months before he brought disaster upon Israel. Then the very people who wanted a king became extremely frightened. Some went into hiding, others crossed over to Jordan, completely leaving the county, and the rest followed King Saul in a frightened state. Tell me, this was a great decision that they made? This ordeal lasted 42 long years.

Please catch this. We have mercy through what Jesus Christ did on the cross. We have the compassion and the love of God that reaches down to the greatest of pits and forgives us. He wipes our slate clean, and He restores us again when have repented and changed our ways. However, there are consequences to pay. The sinful choices we make set into motion things that can’t always be fixed. They cause us embarrassment, grief, sorrow, and pain. This is why God wants us to follow His will and not go our own way.

Friends, I do not like pain of any kind. I don’t like feelings of regret at all. I hate the feeling of embarrassment. I love the blessings that come with obeying God. I do not want my own way because I recognize that I am absolutely clueless about what the future holds. Having God choose for me is the greatest of things. I wonder what would have happened if they had repented when Samuel resigned and begged for God’s forgiveness. Instead, all they cared about was for Samuel to pray that God wouldn’t let them die. Do you see where their hearts were?

Let's examine our hearts as God says and be sure that there are no wicked things in them. Life is given as a prize to His children. We don’t have to beg when we follow and obey Him.



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