Spiritual Director · May 8, 2017

Devote #29

Who rules you? Maybe it’s your spouse, or a boss, or even a domineering friend. Whoever it might be, let me share some thoughts with you today about putting God back in His rightful place in your life.

Here’s the Bible verse that triggered these thoughts…
“The leaders of Shechem, including the priest and the military officers, met at the tree next to the sacred rock in Shechem to crown Abimelech king.” Judges 9:6 CEV

To totally understand this we need to revisit the last part of Judges 8. Remember Gideon? He was the valiant warrior God rose up to deliver Israel from her enemies. But at the end of his life, he went back to worshipping idols. He totally forgot all the great things God had done for him and through him.

When the people wanted Gideon to be their king, so they could be like all the other nations around them, Gideon refused, reminding the people that God was already their king. But, just because Gideon didn’t have the title of king, Gideon served as a king would and all the people looked to Gideon rather than focusing on God. And though, because of Gideon’s character, their misplaced authority seemed to work for a time, but everything would start to unravel once Gideon died and his son Abimelech took over

Abimelech didn’t have the character his father did, but won over the hearts of the town leaders, who made him king. But in order to be king, he needed to kill all his brothers and there were seventy of them. And the sad thing is: the people were willing to follow, which quickly led to everyone’s destruction.

I can think of three truths in Judges 9 that would be good for us to learn and remember.  

  1. When God is not the Ruler of our lives, a void of authority will exist in our life. God must come first and foremost in our lives, but many times we don’t allow Him to rule and instead open ourselves to someone or something else taking over.

  2. When that kind of void of authority exists, someone or something unqualified will try to fill it. Whenever there’s a vacuum, a cavity of unused space within your heart and mind, it will be filled with something – whether good or bad is up to you.

  3. Whenever we allow someone or something unqualified to rule us, destruction will soon follow. It won’t be long before we’ll find ourselves wondering how we got in the mess we did and how we’re going to get out of it.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Keep your priorities! Keep God first! Jesus said, “More than anything else, put God’s work first and do what He wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.” Matthew 6:33 CEV


Help me to focus and concentrate on You today.     Holy Spirit, fill my life with Your presence and joy. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

 | Website

Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.