21 May 2019
‘Do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.’

God’s given us all gifts and skills to use for His glory. The Bible says, ‘We all have different gifts, each of which came because of the grace God gave us’ (Romans 12:6 NCV). These gifts can be used to help us fulfil the calling God has for us. Before we were born, God already had a purpose for us. ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’ (Ephesians 2:10 NIV). It can be quite challenging to work out what God’s calling us to do, but once we’ve figured that out, we need to make sure we’re focused on that. It can be easy to become distracted by other things. When Saul was appointed king, and Samuel was giving a speech, he said ‘do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.’ Samuel was warning the Israelites against being distracted by worthless things. Some translations use the term ‘idols’. We might not be tempted to build statues to worship, but we can create idols out of money, success, relationships, and possessions. Basically, an idol is anything that takes the place of God in our lives. Idols, and empty things, can distract us away from following God’s call in our lives. Sometimes we can be distracted by good things, maybe another opportunity to serve in church, or a new project we want to be part of. But if God’s not actually calling us to those things, then they’re just distracting us from what we really should be doing. We need to make sure we’re totally focused on Him and His call.


What Now?

Write a list of all the things you sometimes put above God in your life. Then ask God to help you focus completely on Him, and the plans He has for you.

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