May 6, 2010

Return to Me

This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Return to me,' declares the LORD Almighty, 'and I will return to you,' says the LORD Almighty. (Zechariah 1:3)

So, I'm still working through this idea of confess, repent and maintain to receive forgiveness and peace. I think this verse does a great job of explaining another side of the concept.

Do you sometimes feel that God has completely given up on you? Like He's at somebody else's party and you're stuck in your house all alone with nothing but 20 noisemakers and the cat?

Do you ever find yourself asking God why He isn't working in your life?

May I offer one point of interest: God never leaves us. Never ever. We leave Him.

Do you remember the illustration I used in Confession Restores Fellowship? I gave the idea of a brick wall being built between you and God. And really, you're the person putting up the bricks, so you're the one who needs to tear them down again.

Confession and repentatance are the key to this. Return to me, God says, and I will return to you. Well, I believe that God used this wording because all of the people were saying "God why have you left us?" But remember, God is omiscient, omnipotent, omnipresent... it's not like He'd come back and say "Dude, sorry guys, I was totally taking a nap. What's up?"

Rather think about this picture:

Have you seen this one before? This is God "away from us." This is God saying "Dude, I was right here with you, and suddenly you pushed me out and shut the door. What's up?"

Have you heard the sermons before on this door? Have you noticed that there is no doorknob on the outside?

Return to God--open the damn door--and God will return to you.

If I ever get a chance to preach a sermon called "Open the Damn Door" I will be so happy. I've been studying up for a sermon I have to give for a class, so maybe it'll end up going in this direction... we'll have to see. :)

Back to the point... God hasn't left us. We've shut Him out.

And who is it that we shut out? The verse said it three times: the LORD Almighty. Um, that would be the Author of Life, the Living Word of God.

And because God has chosen to give us the ability to make our own choices, He allows us to choose to shut Him out. Our sin shuts Him out. Our shame about our sin causes us to shut the door to God. The very voice that He put in us telling us that we're doing wrong causes us to think "if I just shut the door, I won't have to hear this voice again."

But we've got to be ready for the consequences of doing that. For your life suddenly (or slowly) falling apart. For the lack of favor in relationships, at work. For the sense of unrest and unfulfillment. For feeling so very, very alone.

You ever wonder if, as you sit there with your noisemakers and your cat, you never once looked up and said "Wait a minute, I sent out an invitation, but I haven't been answering the door! Maybe that's why no one's here!"


Open the damn door.

1 comment:

  1. You know what part I have the thoughest time with? Not the I know how to apologize. I even know how to admit I'm wrong. I recognize my sin. Got that down...I do listen to the Holy Spirit nudging me about stuff...I go and confess...

    But the repent part - "to turn back or away from". Yep....that part gets me every time. I confess...I say I'm going to not do it again...and then 5 minutes down the road, I've picked up the same EXACT sin and there I am running with it again.

    Repentence is tough. Really tough.

    Oh...and I have a horrid tendency of slamming the door in God's face...and then cussing at him through it because I can't feel him anymore.


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