- Image by AdamL212 via Flickr
No, I’m not talking about a machine that will take you back in time. Rather, I’m talking about the process of getting back.
Sometimes I discover that I’ve lost ground in different areas of my life. That things have shifted and I don’t like the physical, spiritual, or emotional place I am occupying. This can be as simple as ending up in the wrong lane while driving in traffic or it can involve the erosion of relationships.
For example, earlier this year I was very focused on watching the health of my diet and exercising. And I was making great progress in controlling my weight and improving my health. In fact, I believe that God had granted me some favor in this area. But I got busy at work, started staying up later in the evening, and became lazy. And while I haven’t necessarily gained a lot of weight, I am not where I would like to be.
A couple of years ago I made great strides in paying off my bills. I had paid off all of my credit card debt and was making good progress on paying down other bills. Then I lost focus and I am no longer in the sweet place I used to to hang out.
Several years ago, I lost focus in my spiritual life. For any number of “valid” reasons, I stopped going to church, spending time with other like-minded believers in Christ, and spending time with God in the Bible, prayer, and meditation. The result – I quickly learned the value of my ability to lead my life apart from God. I became a prodigal.
Perhaps you have found yourself in that same place – it can be in any area of your life. Maybe you’ve found yourself in financial bondage. You may be discontented with your health. Or maybe you are not where God has called you to live spiritually.
You may not be as far down the path as I have gone. But God is calling you back nonetheless. Do you find your love for God waning? Do you lack vision or purpose? Are you searching for meaning? Have you worked hard in the Kingdom but find yourself disconnected from God?
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.
If so…what should you do?
I’m glad you asked. God has given us the answer. Remember, Repent, Return.
Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.
- Remember the way things used to be. Remember the sweetness of your relationship with God when you had no shame. Remember the joy that once empowered you.
- Repent. Change your direction. It’s OK to ask for forgiveness – even desirable. But take a step further. Change your thinking and your direction. Renew your mind.
- Return to the things you did at first. As you’re remembering how things used to be, ask yourself what was different at that time. And then, in the grace and timing of God, return. Return to God in relationship. Return to active discipleship. Return to Bible study and prayer. Return to community.
Lord, God, bless us with the grace of undivided hearts. In your mercy, remind us of how it once was between you and us – from the before sin until now. And remind us of where we’re headed.
Move in mercy throughout the earth. Move to empower us to fulfill your calling on our lives as your chosen children and as ambassadors of the Kingdom.