Monday, July 20, 2015

Back Where I Belong

As the school year ended, I was really excited about sleeping in and then getting up, grabbing a cup of coffee and my Bible, and spending time with God each day.

I hate to admit that as excited as I was about not having to rush about my morning, I have FAILED miserably in spending time with Him this summer.

I can make excuse after excuse, but I won't.

Plain and simple truth?

I put things between us.

Whether it was sleep, TV, technology, the new house, whatever....I failed to spend quality time with Him.

Yesterday during Sunday School, our lesson was about Jonah's disobedience toward God and Ninevah's return to God.  You know the story....

God told Jonah to go to Ninevah and tell the people to repent or they would be destroyed.  Jonah didn't want to so he got on a boat to go far away.  Well, God got upset, caused a storm, and Jonah was confronted by the others on the ship.  Overboard he went, into the stomach of a fish. After 3 days, Jonah was vomitted out and then decided he should obey God.  God gave the people of Ninevah a second chance (and Jonah too).

Second chances.

They are nice aren't they?

When we've messed up big time or lost our way, we yearn for someone to wrap their arms around us, hug us tightly, and say, "It's going to be ok. I'm here and I love you."

God does that for us.

The thing about God is that He knows us....better than we do.  He knows what's in our hearts. He knows our thoughts. He knows our words before we even speak them.  He knows we are going to mess up.  He knows us, BUT He loves us anyway.

God is a giver of second chances.  He gives us a chance to get back where we belong.  And where is that?

With Him.

So today, I am dedicated....I am starting my "second-fortieth" chance.  You see....I've lost count of the number of times I've neglected my relationship with God.  But the thing about God is this....He never walked away from me. He's just been whispering to me and waiting for me to return back to Him.

And that's what I'm doing.

I want that intimacy back.  And what better way to get back there than to spend time with Him.

So today, I looked on my bookshelf and found this....

I started it a long time ago and never finished.  Today, I restart.  I take advantage of my "second-fifty-fifth" chance.

Jesus told the story of the prodigal son.  It is a story of second chances. And today, I return....the prodigal daughter returns to where she belongs.

But I am aware that Satan lurks nearby.  He already has his hand out ready to snatch me back, but God is stronger.  He led me to scripture this morning that I need to keep close to my heart.

As I was reading from Experiencing Spiritual Intimacy, I was instructed to read 1John 5:19-20 that talks about knowing God through Jesus.  But my eyes went further to verse 21

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

That hit me.  That....That is what has happened to me.  These idols, I have placed them between myself and God.  I came up with excuse after excuse without really knowing what I was doing. When God whispered to me, "You haven't spent time with me today," I answered him, "I know and I will in a minute. Just let me finish this."  Whatever "this" was, it took His place.  Many days, that idol made me lay down at bedtime and cringe, "Dear God, I'm sorry. I didn't spend time with you like I said I would. Tomorrow will be better."

Only it wasn't.

But thankfully, God is more faithful than I am.

He met me today, wrapped His arms around me, and gave me my "second-sixtieth" chance.  He is helping me get back where I belong.

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