“Obey the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. Remember the great things he has done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24)
It’s human nature to want to fit in with our culture. We want people to like us. We don’t want to stand out and have people think we’re weird. That’s why in the 50’s all the girls wanted pony tails and poodle skirts and all the boys wanted greased back hair and leather jackets. It looks weird now, but back then it was “cool.”
Culture influences more than just wardrobes. It also influences actions and attitudes. How do we live by faith when we are surrounded by a faithless culture? How do we stand strong when our faith is ignored, challenged, and mocked?
First Samuel 12:24, gives us three keys to faithfulness. First, “obey the Lord.” Are we obedient to God’s commands? Second, “serve him faithfully with all our hearts.” Do our hearts belong fully to God or do we toy with the values of our culture? And third, “remember the great things he has done for you.” Are we grateful? These three keys help make sure we are living a faithful life.
When the Israelites moved into the Promised Land, they were surrounded by pagan cultures. Even though God miraculously delivered them from Egypt, crushed the Egyptian army in the sea, and provided food from heaven during the journey, there was still the danger that they would drift into idol worship and forget the God who rescued them.
Friend, the warning God gave the Israelites about being seduced by the cultures of those around them rings true for us today: “…Be careful that you don’t get curious about them after they’ve been destroyed before you. Don’t get fascinated with their gods, thinking, ‘I wonder what it was like for them, worshiping their gods. I’d like to try that myself’” (Deuteronomy 12:29-30).
It’s easy for us to gradually accept cultural values that shift us away from faith in God. God sees our vulnerability. He knows we can be swayed by the culture around us. His word to us is, “Be careful.” We must stay prayed up and stay in the Word Bibles. We should often check ourselves to see if we are sliding away from God and toward the values we see in our culture.
God is faithful to us. Let us take care to be faithful to him.
Father God, thank you for giving me life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and extending grace and mercy into my life. I choose to put my trust and my confidence in you. Regardless of what I see in the culture around me, in good times or in bad times, I will have faith in your love and your power. Help me to be faithful. In Jesus’s name, amen.