Some of my favorite words in the Bible are, “Return to Me...” these words bring me comfort and HOPE that God cares for me and wants what is best for me. These words are used often in the prophets. God spoke to them and used them to remind the children of Israel that they needed to “return to His instructions.”
I usually do not like to list verses without copying and pasting them in, but there are so many with these words that I wanted to give them to you and have you read them yourself!
I chose one verse to share with you…
Since the days of your forefathers
you have turned from my laws (instructions) and have not kept them.
Return to me, and I will return to you,”
“But you ask, ‘In respect to what
are we supposed to return?’ (CJB)
The children of Israel often walked away from the heart of God and would follow what the cultures around them were involved in. They often chose to forget what God blessed them with and found it easier to be a part of the world around them. Maybe trying to follow the instructions God gave were too difficult. Maybe they just wanted to be like everyone else. I guess we will never truly know what caused them to turn away from God’s teachings, but one thing is for certain, they rebelled often.
I think these words need to be a reminder to us today as well. I think that as a “community of believers” we have given into events and teachings that the world holds too, but are not from the heart of God. We easily dismiss practices we participate in that do not bring honor to God by saying that God can redeem all things and turn it for His glory. We excuse our involvement in them by saying that God wants us to love everyone.
Don’t get me wrong… God does say to “love our enemies” and to “love our neighbor as ourself.” Love does cover a multitude of wrongs, and like I wrote before, GRACE is there for everyone! However, God also has HIS instructions that He holds too as important and we need to uphold those teachings. He gave them for a reason and desires that we follow them so we can live LIFE to the fullest and with freedom.
The word “return” is sometimes translated as, “repent.” If we look back to the original Hebrew understanding, the closer translation means to “turn back.” If we are repentant it does mean we do a 180 degree turn around. It is supposed to mean that we “turn away” from things in our life that are not from God. When the Holy Spirit convicts us to let something go, we must RETURN to what God requires.
My challenge for you today is to look at your life and clean out the area(s) HE wants to purge. Where is He challenging you to “return?” What teachings do you need to “return too?” Are you willing to go against the flow of society and follow His heart?
God does have grace for His people. Just like with the children of Israel, when we are willing to repent and return, He is there ready and waiting with open arms to bless us. We just need to LISTEN to our Father and heed His call to “return to Me.”
When we come to the realization that returning to the heart of God will bring REST, we will want to RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.
Love and blessings,