Monday, July 6, 2020

To Return is on Us, not God

Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Return to Me," says the Lord of Hosts, "and I will return to you."

God places much of the burden of what we will become on our response to Him.  If we have drifted from God, His call is to return to Him.  God promises that if we will return, He will immediately renew His relationship with us. James 4:8 promises that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. Matthew 7:7 guarantees that if we seek Christ, we will find Him. Much of the Christian life rests on our response and our desire to experience God to the fullest.  - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

This excerpt is the greater foundational truth to any revival planned by God.  A revival is NOT at the hands of mankind. It isn't some event and after you've completed it, you take a survey and see how you did.  When the Spirit is behind a revival, there's no doubt He was there. 

Revival begins in the heart. When we are at OUR end of ourselves.  When WE stop thrashing about and are finally still before Him with whom we have to do.  When WE start to realize that to be still before Him is greater than our constant talking and moving before Him. There's a few lessons it seems that I at least missed in my reading the 4 Gospels.  Yes, the Disciples asked Jesus HOW to pray, but His response was WHAT to pray. Both in what we infamously refer to as the Lord's Prayer, but the rest seems not to have been heard. Why? Because it has to do with silence before God. The Gospels say much about Jesus getting away to be with His Father.  Doesn't mean that Jesus did all the talking. 

We don't need to be doing all the talking.  Mary was lauded over Martha because she sat and listened. Stopping what was worrying her and took time to breathe and listen. 

We are all facing things related to cultural unrest, to virus fallout, to family crisis, to health problems.  There's really nobody who isn't impacted by life happening.  Everyone breathing has something going on. People alive and breathing are under some form of attack by Satan or his minions. Everyone, everywhere.  It's a fact of life. 

What to do about it is what God's saying today.  Be still and know that He is God. 
We want to get ahead of Him in our explaining our problems and our needs, but as we let Him hold us, we need to just be still.

There's never going to be a time when we as believers will ever be able to tell Jesus of something, using the words "but Lord! You don't understand!"

Returning to God in our daily life is a daily thing.  Daniel was consistent at prayer at least 3 times a day. It wasn't like the Pharisees or Sadducees. It wasn't out of a public display for all to marvel at.  It was in his home, with no obstruction between him and God.  Sure others could see it and they figured out what he was doing, even trying to use it against him, but nobody knew what he was praying until he wrote it down for us to read. 

Are you at all praying? It isn't some mystical thing to do.  My friend it's a conversation.  In the conversations you have with close friends, there's often periods of speech mixed with silence. 

When we are struggling with life and wonder where the Spirit is, then, it's time to be silent. We have talked too much and not listened enough. I speak to myself as much as this is for you. I am facing new challenges this week that I have never faced before. The last 6 months have been escalating challenges. One slightly greater than the month before.  I pray with Jesus in my Jeep on my way to work.  Just Him and I, no radio. I pour out my heart.  We get to where I work and I ask Him to take my hand and lead me into the day.  I can't do it on my own.  In 2013 I never thought I'd ever set foot in that place again. It was on the heels of a nervous breakdown due to a manager who was brought in to totally disrupt the place. There are no vestiges of his being there today, nobody left in management that supported what he was doing.  But 'ghosts' if you will pardon the worldly description, sometimes hit me of days gone by.  I need Jesus to be with me to be successful in what He would have me to do. Prayer doesn't end at the door. Regardless of company policies anywhere, you can take Jesus with you into work.  I am often praying as Nehemiah did. Shooting arrows up to the Heavens.  I can only be successful if God's hand is on me.

It's all part of returning to God.  You too must decide to return to God. That your relationship with Jesus is worth more than your family or friends or work or anything else.  It has to mean more than your rights or desires. More than anything.  

People are constantly looking for peace yet it's few who find it.  Mary found it. When the Disciples stopped talking and sat at Jesus's feet they found it. The 15,000 or so found it. We can too.

Find and listen to the original version of Steven Curtis Chapman's "Be Still". It's on his album "Speechless". 

We cannot create peace in politics or policies.  It is found where mankind doesn't want to go. In the Word of God and a relationship he or she is avoiding having. 

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