How do you respond to defeat? I grew up before sports were prevelant on television. Now days, we have entire networks devoted to sports, and some even to particular sports, like the NFL network, or Fox Soccer, but not so in my day. All we had was ABC’s Wide World of Sports. You may remember . . . “spanning the globe to bring you the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat . . .” (like that poor guy who missed the ski jump.)
Responding to defeat is something we all have to deal with. Last night, though we won the game, my youngest son (with a tender heart) struck out twice and missed a fly ball. He was crushed. But, this morning he was as good as new. He just bounced right back.
Most of the time our defeats keep us down for much longer. In the book of I Samuel, it took 20 years after their defeat at the hands of the Philistines before the people really repented and turned back to God. When they did that, something pretty amazing happened. The Philistines were defeated. As long as Samuel was around the Philistines never won again, the cities that had been taken were restored to Israel and all of their other enemies were subdued as well.
Why did all of that happen? Well, listen to what is found in I Samuel 7:3. “If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods, from among you, direct your heart to the Lord and serve Him only…”
Did you catch that? Return to the Lord with all your heart, put away the foreign gods, direct your heart toward Him and serve Him alone. Return, put away, direct, and serve Him.
Now that may not be a direct promise, but it sure worked for the Israelites and I have a feeling that it will work for you. Why don’t you try it and let me know how that turns out? Why don’t you try it today?
I Samuel 7:13
“If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods, from among you, direct your heart to the Lord and serve Him only.”
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
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ESV Text Edition: 2007