“And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing…” 1 Samuel 12:21
In this verse from the Old Testament, Samuel is speaking to all Israel about how important serving the Lord is. In the verse before, he says, ““Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.” Israel had been unfaithful to the Lord God and had been focusing all their heart’s desire on what they wanted to do. They rejected God’s ways but what is most important is that Samuel says forget all of that! “Yes you have sinned but don’t use that as an excuse to keep on sinning. Turn your heart back to God and serve the LORD with all of your heart.” The following verse is the verse that really jumps out at me.
Do not turn aside from following the Lord. If you do, the things you will chase and desire will never and can never profit you or deliver you. Those idols and desires are nothing. (paraphrasing 1sam.12:21)
This not only encourages me but it plainly directs me. Anything I follow aside from Jesus is nothing. It is pointless, worthless, and unable to enrich me in any way. But God. God delivers us from our greatest enemy. God profits our souls, He gives us meaning and worth. God, because of Jesus, looks at ME at smiles. I am covered, I am accounted for. I am no longer in sin.
I am still human while my time on this earth remains. Therefore, my flesh will sometimes long for selfish desires. But even then, I have this Truth that keeps my foot from slipping. When I do feel that urge to indulge in fleeting sins, like selfishness or lying or laziness, the God-Spirit within me says, “Beloved, don’t search for empty idols. I am the fullness of joy and all that your heart desires. Fall into my love.” And again, my heart is renewed and I am thankful. Thankful that only God fulfills my wants and needs.
The things of this world cannot and will not give me fulfillment. They can’t give me joy. They can not profit or deliver.
They are nothing. Jesus is everything.
It’s a new day, a new week. Will you choose to follow Jesus and not the things of this world? Praying for you, Beloved.