Monday, August 29, 2011
Let My People Return To Me
I feel as though I've written about this over and over again, and I'm sure that I have, so if I'm sounding like a broken record to you, I apologize. In June 2010, after my big conversion and call to missions, I feel as though I was on the highest of highs because of the things the Lord was doing for me and in me. For the remainder of 2010, the Lord was so close, I could literally feel Him walking with me some days. Lately and actually for most of this year, it hasn't been like that, and I know that we don't always feel the Lord close. I know that this walk of life isn't about feelings, but something much more. I must admit that one of the reasons I haven't felt the Lord close is my own fault. I haven't been as committed to Him as He deserves. I know some of you might be thinking, "Well Sarah, you left everything you knew to follow the Lord. You moved to Mexico. You are working closely with the people there and serving the Lord." Well if you are thinking that, those things are true, but it isn't about what I'm doing, it's about my heart.
Somewhere during this year I subconsciously decided that my heart didn't fully belong to the Lord, and because of this I've become divided. I go into my prayer time, most of the time, completely distracted and sort of go through the motions. I feel as though my heart isn't in it. About a month and a half ago, the Lord started giving me scriptures about returning to Him, and I thought, "Lord, I'm right here, what do you mean???" Still the scriptures came. I started asking Him a month and a half ago, "Lord, show me what you mean by return to you, show me how you want me to return." I've known pretty much the whole time how He wants me to return to Him, but remember I'm stubborn, so I'm going to fight until I hit some kind of bottom. Well, the bottom has come.
In the middle of August I was privileged to spend two weeks with my family. I don't think words could express how good it was to see my own family and to just spend time with them. It was much needed. My last night in the States I was praying and just opened my bible. I opened to Isaiah 57:14 where it says, "The Lord says, 'Let my people return to me. Remove every obstacle from their path! Build the road and make it ready.'" I knew that He was speaking directly to me and asking me to return to Him. This time I also knew and decided it was time to surrender my stubborness.
The following morning I decided to reread the verse the Lord used to speak to the night before and also decided to read the full chapter of Isaiah 57. The title of this chapter is "Israel's Idolatry is condemned". The first two verses talk about how good people die and when they die, they rest in peace because of their good lives. Verse 3 really spoke to me. It says, "Come here to be judged, you sinners! You are no better than sorcerers, adulterers, and prostitutes." What a strong statement. I am no better than sorcerers, adulterers, and prostitutes. After reading about the idolatry in Israel's life, I began to see the idolatry in my own life over the last year. I've allowed sleep, books, movies, spending time with friends and family, amongst many other things to become idols in my life causing my heart to be divided. I'm not saying that any of the before mentioned things in and of themselves are bad, but if they are causing my relationship with the Lord to falter, I need to check myself!
I don't want you to think that I haven't been praying, because I have. Each day I do pray, but I haven't been dedicating myself to a set time, a "date", with the Lord, I've just been fitting Him in where I can. When I really think about that and imagine what a relationship with a friend here on earth would be like if I only fit the other person into my schedule when it was convenient for me, the relationship would die; of course it is the same with the Lord. "...love the Lord your God with all your heat, with all you soul, with all your strength, and all your mind..." Luke 10:27
For me to return fully to my Lord, I am dedicating myself to a set time each day to seek Him and read His word. I would like to challenge you, if you have turned away from the Lord, to return to Him as well, because the only place we can truly feel at home is in His loving arms. "Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with your WHOLE heart..." Joel 2:12