“O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by (because of) thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves (sacrifices) of our lips. Asshur ( Assyria) shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.”Hosea 14:1-3
I remember going to camp and already knowing the type of messages that would be preached. I knew they would be coming for me, and I knew they would be preaching against the sins I loved. I began to build a wall in my heart to combat against the convicting words of God I would hear that week, and I now realize just how wicked that was. I would show up to camp with my arms crossed on the inside and a smirk on my face on the outside. I dared them to change my mind.
I felt as though my youth pastor and parents paid the preacher to preach directly to me, because his words were right on point to the sins I was struggling with. Looking back, I know there are sins that are common to many teenagers, and I am sure he was preaching the topics God laid on his heart. God used those messages to break my hard heart, and I soon found myself at the altar, crying my guts outs. The dam had been broken, and I gave God my heart and my life. After I made these decisions, I had no problem belting out the song, “I Surrender All.”
God still works in my life through the Holy Spirit, and I am still convicted by the messages I hear. I am grateful that God speaks to me through His Word and also through the events of everyday life. I have experienced several deaths recently in my circle of family and friends, and it is another reminder from God to return back to Him, a reminder to have my life in order, and a reminder that eternity looms near for every person and death is coming for all of us. Now is the time to turn away from sin, and now is the time to turn to God. Isaiah 55:6 states, “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:” If we are not careful, sin takes the place of our God, and we find ourselves in a place where we thought we would never be.
Are you listening to God’s message to you? Have you wandered away from your Lord and Savior? Do you need to return to the God who loves you and gave Himself for you? What is keeping you from returning to Him? What will it take to bring you back to God? God desires a relationship with us and He will use the events and trials of our life to draw us back to Him. We will soon see that the idols of our life are meaningless, and it is God and God alone who will change us and forgive us from all of our sins. May we seek Him while He may still be found.