All of us are called for a purpose. Somewhere along the way, we lose touch of the love and passion we have of serving.
Are you finding yourself tired and weary? Has your complaining taken over your joyous song? Do you find yourself judging others for what they don’t do or how they do things? I myself, have been feeling frustrated about my leadership abilities for the past couple weeks. The Lord brought me back to a devotional I wrote last year, which reminded me that I need to re-focus on what’s important; my faithfulness to God alone.
Read: 1 Samuel 6:1-16
Here’s a little bit of history – Israel had been ruled by judges for over 200 years. Eli and Samuel are the last of the judges. This was a time when the Israelites were far from God; sin had entered their hearts. Even Eli’s two sons (Hophni and Phinehas), in line for the priesthood, were wicked in the eyes of the Lord.
In our text, the Philistines attack the Israelites, overthrow them with a terrible slaughter (killing over 30,000 men). They take the ark of the Lord and set it up in the temple of their god Dagon. They keep the ark of the Lord for 7 months until they were visited with God’s judgments (plagues), which forced them to send the ark back with a guilt offering. Although they acknowledged they had offended God, something in them still didn’t believe it was God who sent the plagues. Could it have been plain coincidence?
All of us are called for a purpose. Somewhere along the way, we can lose touch of the love and passion we have of serving. Next time you find yourself in that position, remember this story and ask the Lord to help you examine your heart.
There are four key points I would like to point out to you. My desire is that as you meditate on these points, you are redirected to your Source (God alone).
1. Check the Condition of Your Heart
Sometimes, we can get to the point of becoming resentful and bitter to do the things of God. Yeah, we do them, but we do them half-hearted. We need a new heart to give our best to God.
I find it interesting that the Philistines used a new cart to send the ark of the Lord back to the Israelites. This should be an example to us that when we worship God – anything we do – we are to offer it solely to the service of God. Do it for His Glory. We are to give our very best to God, not what’s left over.
Many times, we put other things before God (family, our job, activities, etc.) and we find ourselves too tired to approach God. If we do, we are giving him our left over crumbs! Check the condition of your heart today. Ask God to reveal your true intentions of why you do what you do.
2. Take Action
Now, notice that they send two cows that had just given birth to calves and had never been yoked to return the ark of the Lord. I don’t know much about cows, but I do know that their instinct is to stay with their calves and take care of them as a mother would. These were busy cows. I’m sure they preferred to stay with their calves to take care of them.
All of us lead busy lives, but these cows became available to do God’s work. Many of us have an array of excuses as to why we cannot serve in the ministry: I’m too far from church, my kids… my husband… I don’t have the time, etc… Okay, I’m going to say it straight up; we are all busy! You are not the exception. But is God too busy for you? Think about that next time you find yourself tired and your heart has grown cold for the things of God.
These cows were aware of what they were carrying – they didn’t take their job lightly. Are you available to carry His precious cargo? – The Good News (that Jesus, His only son, died for humanity’s sin). You see, God will use those who are willing to be used. Now, if God used these two cows to carry His most precious cargo (the ark of the Lord), how much more can he use us to show His love to those in need.
3. Focus on God
We read that the cows indeed went straight to Beth Shemesh. They did not turn to the right or to the left! God supernaturally influenced or led the cows to their final destination. Although we have trials and troubles, we must keep our focus on God – not swerving to any side, but focusing our eyes on Jesus. God will give us the strength to continue onto the path that He has set before us. He will give us the vision of where we need to go.
You see, when our hearts are centered on God, it doesn’t matter what others say, what others do or don’t do because you know who you serve; God alone! It’s not about you my friend – it’s all about Him! So next time you feel frustrated, you may have to re-focus your heart toward Jesus.
4. Praise Him All the Way!
It also says that the cows were lowing all the way. I don’t know if the cows were Protesting saying, “But God my children are left alone, I must be with them” or if the cows were Praising God along the way saying, “Thank you Lord for choosing me to carry the ark, what a privilege.”
I’m going to say that these cows praised all the way. The question for you is… Which type of cow are you? The type that Protests and complains to God because of all the things that need to get done – OR the one that Praises God for the opportunity given to serve Him. Choose to Praise God as you serve Him and he will manifest Himself in your life. Then, when you serve the Lord Faithfully, God’s power becomes visible to the world and His name will be glorified.
Let’s not be whiny cows. Instead, may we be:
- Ready to Hear His Voice
- Be Led by His Spirit
- Proceed with all His Power
Rest in His Word: 1 Corinthians 4: 1-2
“This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” (NIV)
- How have I been unfaithful to God?
- What can I do today to show God my faithfulness to Him?