“Return to Him from whom you have deeply defected” Isaiah 31:6
Have you ever set out to go somewhere and missed a turn? What was your first reaction? I have, and I had to find my way back, maybe by my navigation rerouting me to get me back on track, or I ask people along the way (before we had navigation and smartphones) until I return to my original route. I don’t particularly appreciate missing my way because it is disorienting. Therefore, I do my best to return to my course quickly.
Have you ever fallen before? What did you do? Get back up, right? Some will get up as quickly as possible so that nobody will witness that fall. We all know it can be not very pleasant sometimes. Some might need to hold on to things or people to get back up. The main thing is that we try to get back to our feet.
Why am I asking these questions?
These are two questions God told Jeremiah in chapter 8:1-5 to ask his people. These questions are for us now to answer. God asked:
“When someone falls down, doesn’t he get back up?
When someone misses the road, doesn’t he turn back?
Why then, my people, do you turn away from me without ever turning back?
You cling to idols and refuse to return.”
I don’t know how my daughter found this verse when it was her turn to lead prayers, but I am glad she did because it touched me differently. Even my boys highlighted it to read the rest of the chapter independently. It is almost as if God is begging us to return to Him, and we keep running away from him for other desires that can never satisfy us. I encourage you to read the whole chapter.
Verse 7 says, “Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift, and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the LORD.”
God is so loving and so merciful. He gives us so many chances to come back to him and journey with him, but we keep coming up with excuses that occupy the space he is supposed to fill. Did you know that those things we cling to so passionately and feel like we cannot do without are like idols?
What idols are you harboring that makes you put God at the bottom of the list? Is it fame, money, material possessions, anger, hate, even those challenges that seem to consume our time, and so many others? Yes, there are challenges that we all deal with, some worse than others, but we keep telling everyone else about them except God. The one person that we are supposed to talk to who cares. Do we even know what God requires of us? If only we knew what we carry and who we are in the Lord, we wouldn’t be turning our backs on him.
Have you lost touch with God? Have you been doing this life’s journey alone? Do you feel deep in that wrong route and can’t find your way back? I want to tell you that God’s arms are always open to accept you back, no matter where you are. It starts with the desire to return to Him. No sin is so deep that His mercy cannot reach down. He is merciful and loving and does not want anyone to be lost.
Listen to this verse from Matthew 9:13. Jesus said, “I have come not to call the righteous but sinners. He also said in Luke 15:7 that heaven will have more joy over a sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Just like the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32, that’s how God sees a repentant heart from afar and prepares a banquet.
Do you know what else happens when we make that decision? God said in Ezekiel 36:26-27
“I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.
And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”
Awesome! Right? Again, God is compassionate, kind, and merciful. So do not put off what you can do today because tomorrow is not promised.
So, if you are at the point where you are not walking with the Lord, desire Him, repent, and be baptized. In Acts 2:38, Peter said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” This is in line with what Jesus said In John 3:3 that unless one is born again (water and Spirit), he cannot see the kingdom of God.
So, friends, this life is a journey. We either journey alone (hard way that leads to destruction) or with the Lord (leads to eternal life). I encourage us all to journey with the Lord and encourage someone else (children, spouses, friends, everyone) along the way.
Journey with the Lord!
I pray that we all will decide to return to God and stay plugged into him. Let’s make that decision now, not the next minute. Let your next thought be centered around this message of salvation.
May the peace and love of the Almighty God be with us all as we return to Him. Please know that God loves you and cares for you. We are his sons and daughters.
I love you all. God bless you all and your families! Please feel free to share this message.