Turn Not Aside – Serve the Lord 1 Sam 12:20-22

1 Sam 12 20-22 Turn Not Aside – Serve The Lord CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

After God set King Saul over Israel, and Saul had won a victory over Nahash and the Ammonites, Samuel reproved Israel for forsaking the Lord [1 Sam 12].  But he assured them that if they and their king would fear the Lord, serve him, obey him and not rebel against him, they would continue following the Lord [1 Sam 12:14].

Then he admonished them to “turn not aside from following the Lord,” [1 Sam 12:20-22].  The way to keep from turning aside from following the Lord is, first, to fear him, which we saw last week, and, second, to “serve the Lord with all your heart.”

When you look at this command in 1 Sam 12:20, carefully, you see three things.  

  • Serve.  The Lord is not our servant; we are his servants.  We are to serve him all day, everyday, in every way.  
  • The Lord.  We are to serve the Lord and those who are under him, who are over us.  From time to time, for example, you will see a person and someone working for him or her in disagreement; yet both say they are being directed by the Lord.  In this case, the subordinate person should serve the senior person as unto the Lord.  
  • All your heart.  Your service to the Lord is not with just a part of your heart.  Your service to him affects all aspects of your life.

In Deut 10:12-13, you see that the Lord required Israel to serve him with all their heart.  Joshua repeated this to Israel in Jos 22:5-6.  This same command applies to us.  Even when you are serving someone else, you are to serve the Lord [Col 3:22-24].  When you serve the Lord with all of your heart, you keep yourself from turning aside from following him.

Beware, because there are influences that can cause you to turn aside from following the Lord:

Your friends can turn you aside – Deut 6:13-14 the gods of the people you hang around might be more appealing to you than the Lord.

Your spouse can turn you aside – Deut 7:4 the gods of your wife might be more appealing to you than the Lord.  This happened to Solomon. 

You can turn yourself aside – Rom 16:18 some preachers would rather serve their belly than serve the Lord.

Conclusion: According to Jos 24:15 committing to serve the Lord is a choice you should make today and keep for the rest of your life.