You’ve walked away. You’re run away. You’ve looked away. You’ve lost your focus. You’ve lost your direction. You’ve become distracted. You’ve been unfaithful. You’ve found other loves. You’ve discovered other interests. You’ve gone in another direction. You have no direction at all. You had an awesome encounter but moved on long ago. You’ve run back and forth, become dizzy in your indecision, and you feel as lost as you ever were. You’re at home in your house, but you’ve never felt less home at all. I have a word for you, my friend. One single word. One single word that will change your whole life.
Return. It’s more than a word. It’s a message. And it’s not mine. It’s His. His message. Whose? The Lord’s. The one you have forgotten. The one you have neglected. The one you have abandoned. The one you have rejected. The one you have moved lower and lower on your priority list. The one you have become too busy to hear, too busy to remember. The one you met once a long time ago, but soon forgot. The one you keep remembering, but you keep turning away. Walking away. Running away. Moving away from. The one you know is calling. The one whose voice is becoming louder. The one whose voice you can’t tune out anymore. But still.
But still you keep your head turned. Your heart is far from Him. Oh, sure, you talk about Him from time to time. You even say your prayers like a good girl. Good boy. Just like you learned long ago. And you go to church sometimes. Maybe even more than sometimes. Maybe even every Sunday. And you bend your knees. You kneel down on the ground and you say, “Thank you.” You talk about Him. Sometimes. Or never. Once in a while. And you sound good. Good to yourself. Good in your own ears. They pat you on the back. The people. Your friends. Your loved ones. The people listening to you talk about God.
God who? You know, God. The one you say you love, but you don’t do anything He says. The one you say you love, but you don’t know the first thing about. The one you hear from Him regularly, but the one whose voice you drown out with the ways of the world, the sounds of the television, the noise of the basketball game. You know the one, God.
The God, if you’re honest with yourself, you walked away from long ago. Or, the God you’re pretending you haven’t walked away from at all. The God who keeps getting in the way of your plans, who keeps coming in on CALL WAITING, the one who keeps interrupting your activities, your actions, your thoughts, with a “we interrupt this broadcast with an EMERGENCY ANNOUNCEMENT.”
But alas, the God you really don’t have time for, the God you really don’t want to make a priority, the God you really don’t know – come to think of it. The God whose Son Jesus died for your sins, rose again, and what – what’s that you say?
Who is Jesus? Just the guy who died on the cross? You don’t have time for His teaching, do you? Because if the truth be told, God is not the one you’re walking with. And you know it. You know it because deep down inside, you’ve known it for a good while. Maybe since yesterday morning. Or since 20 years ago. Or maybe you really haven’t known it, because you’ve never met Jesus at all. Not yet.
So how about that ministry work you’re doing? How about what an awesome priority it is in your life? Number one, eh? Number one above God. I know. I certainly do. Been there. Done that. Bought the t-shirt. And still get tempted to do it sometimes, and still even fall there sometimes. But I can’t help but remember. I can’t help but remember this.
God has a message. A word. A single word that will change your whole life. One not so little, not so big, word that will change everything. If you do it, that is.
Jer_24:7 “And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.”
Isa 44:22 “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.”
I have one single question for you.
Do you need to RETURN?
Then go before the Lord, confess your sins, seek and receive His forgiveness, and seek His face. Let this not be a one-time affair, but a life-long commitment. And should you find that you drift away once more, come home. Return.