When you return to the Lord your God, then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you. Deuteronomy 30:2,3 NASB
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
Perhaps you’ve been to the well more than once. You’ve run out of money and had to ask for a loan. You’ve busted your diet and must restart it…again. You’ve been late three times this week already and you’re running behind schedule again this morning. The list could go on and on. What shall you do? Give up? Quit trying? Bluster your way through?
God’s calling is different from all the others with whom we must make amends. Our boss may require make-up hours. Your nutrition counselor may want you to log your food and get more exercise. Your financial counselor may want you to keep track of your spending.
All these are good things to do. But God wants more from us than outward actions. He wants more for us than successful living. He wants us. He desires that we be with him. In prayer. In fellowship. In worship. In our relationships. In our everyday life.
That calls for constant repentance and faith. It means that we must return to him again and again, be near him in heart and mind, and seek his rule and reign in our hearts. That means we yearn for the things that he calls good. It calls for us to recalibrate our values, hopes, dreams, and pursuits.
It means dethroning the most difficult one to unseat: ourselves. We want to determine what is good and evil. We want to decide which loophole is appropriate. We want to choose our own path.
None of those bring us closer to God. So we repent. We turn around – in our hearts and minds first of all. We re-calibrate our hearts’ and souls’ desires. Then we act on the new values, desires, and dreams according to God’s will and word. This is a lifelong calling and we must never tire of admitting our need to repent of our sins and believe the good news of God’s mercy, love, and grace in Jesus Christ.