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Return to the Lord

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Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, "If you return to the LORD with all your hearts, [then] put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the LORD, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines." 1 Samuel 7:3

Samuel's admonition to Israel included a call to change both their hearts and their actions. A heart change always leads to behavioral change. Israel had accumulated many idols during conquests, and Samuel knew they couldn't serve the Lord while trusting in false gods.

What are you trusting in today to bring you comfort, peace, joy, or deliverance? Is it an enjoyable relationship that leads you away from God? Or a status symbol, like a luxury vehicle? Or maybe a hobby that has taken over your walking hours?

Whatever it is, ask God to help you recognize any false gods that have taken up residence in your life. Then return to Him with your whole heart. Rid yourself of idols, and commit yourself to the Lord and serve Him only. When you do, you'll find true comfort, peace, joy, and deliverance.

Prayer: Lord, my heart is often quick to embrace idols. Search my heart, oh God, and root out my most persistent sins. Loosen their grip on me, and make me wholly dependent on You. For apart from You, I can do nothing.