Backsliding is a reality in many Christian lives. Those who had started their walk in Christ with great enthusiasm soon grow cold in their hearts. When difficulties confront them they find it easy to go back to their old ways of life. Sometimes lack of encouragement from friends can cause a person to neglect God. Often sin creeps in and sends its roots deep once again in such a soul.
But such conditions need not stop you from coming back to God. The Bible speaks of many instances where God is calling His people back to Himself. “Return to the Lord” is the call given through Prophets Hosea, Joel, Zechariah and Malachi. The promise is that when you return to the Lord, He will also return to you.
There is an urgency about this call. Because Prophet Isaiah said: “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” That means there are seasons when God is near to you and when He may be found. So return to your Lord with great urgency.
Prophet Hosea says: “Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously.” This is what the younger son in the parable of the lost son does. But the Father never allows him to complete his speech. Instead he was filled with compassion and ran to his son and threw his arms around him and kissed him.
For those with hesitant hearts, Hosea again has a word of encouragement. He says: “Come, let us return to the Lord.” He is saying that God will heal even though He has torn us to pieces. He will also bind up our wounds. This is a call to press on to acknowledge God.
One of the things that you need to be clear about is that quite often difficulties can be God-sent. In the Book of Amos God lists out many difficulties He had sent to the people to get their attention: Lack of bread and empty stomachs, withholding of rain, locusts to devour their crops, plagues which killed the young men, destruction similar to that of Sodom and Gomorrah! In spite of all this the people did not respond to God. “Yet you have not returned to me,” is God’s complaint. So He issues a challenge to them: “Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.”
One of the most encouraging words come from King Hezekiah as he was trying to call people to observe the Passover to the Lord which had been neglected for a long long time. He said: “If you return to the Lord, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”
Isn’t that a welcome message from God to you today. Do not wait any longer. Your Father waits with open arms to receive you. Return to the Lord your God today!
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