Hello my dearest readers. I hope you are doing well. I feel it necessary for me to apologize to you before going further. Lately I have been struggling to write anything, and so writing for you has been nearing impossibility. For this I apologize; I am hopeful that this phase will pass with me, particularly since writing has always been a natural bent of mine. So on to the topic of tonight’s post….He Always Calls Us Back.
Lately I’ve been reading in Hosea. Beautiful book of the Bible…I have reread several passages so many times…I would recommend that you spend time, as I have, not just reading but studying the book of Hosea. I could develop about 5 separate lessons based on just one passage of Hosea, but just 1 will suffice for tonight. On this particular night i was reading in Chapter 14 of Hosea, and noticed something quite beautiful. To give biblical context, God was issuing yet another call to repentance for Israel, who had once again gone astray. This time, he beckoned to Israel through the prophet Hosea. Poor Israel. I must confess that in Bible reading I often find myself irritated with them. I think, “Why do they keep making these idols? Why do they keep turning away after how much God has proven Himself to them and rescued them. Then I remember that the people of Israel were just like us. They wandered time and time again away from God, even after he had done miracles before their very eyes. They worshipped idols. While we may not be bowing down to any idols this day and age, we are really no different. Think about this. It will give you a humbling of your spirit. But while you’re thinking about how prone you are to foolishly and selfishly stray away from the One who rescued you from sin, hell, and death, don’t be cast down! The good news is that Jesus always comes running after us.
When we think of God calling us, God running after us, I think many of us consider salvation. Indeed, no greater act of mercy has ever been done than when God called us to repentance for the very first time and set us free. We all remember Jesus’ story of the lost sheep, whom the Shepherd went out to find, even though he had 99. It is true. Jesus sought us in the most beautiful illustration of grace that’s ever been shown, but I’ve found that every characteristic of our God is multifaceted, and there are endless chambers in the heart of God that we have yet to discover. Things about Him that make us love Him even more. The heart of God is infinitely precious and endless, and I found another piece of Him here. God could have just stopped calling us to Himself when He saved us. When we entered into that relationship with Him. Because of His beautiful heart, He doesn’t. It completely blew my mind the other night when I was struck with this realization. I realized that God called me back to Him when I strayed away, but I suppose I didn’t realize the magnitude of that fact. Our God cares so much about the relationship with you, that He is willing to confront you with your sin and call you back to Himself upon repentance. He is willing to basically say “Hey, you and me are not good right now. You need to straighten up little one. But I love you so much, so come back to me and let’s work this out. Say you’re sorry, let me help you change what’s wrong, I won’t be angry at you anymore.” I want you to realize that this is much greater than just forgiving us. To explain it to you as I did in my journal: “More than just forgiving and restoring us, HE LITERALLY CALLS US TO REPENTANCE AND RESTORATION. It would be gracious just to forgive us, but He does not require us to make the decision on our own. He calls to us like wayward children. This shows a deeper level of compassion towards His people that is beautiful.”
Now that we have established the magnitude of His mercy in not merely accepting us back but CALLING us back, we find ourselves faced with a question. Why doesn’t He require that we come back to Him of our own accord and without being bidden? One could answer because He cares about the relationship too much to leave it up to us to make the first step back. I think this is true. Your relationship with Him personally matters a great deal to God. More than just saving you from separation eternally, He wants you to be close to Him. You see, the same sin that separated us from Him for eternity can seperate us from Him now. That’s why repentence is necessary for restoration. He doesn’t like to be separated from us. Your God literally misses your attention and your company. So it’s not enough to have you just spared from eternal separation and hellfire. Your God desires daily closeness and communion with you, just as He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day in the garden. Every step in sync. Intimate closeness. Forget just being saved, He wants an intimate relationship with you. He considered your love worth dying for.
Ok, so he cares about the relationship too much to let us stay apart. He also loves us too much to leave it up to us. Do you notice how it was Him who called us to life and salvation in Christ? We didn’t call ourselves….we couldn’t. Similarly, I think he knows we wouldn’t come back from straying without His aid. It is only the call of the Holy Spirit in our hearts that enables us to return to Him when we have strayed. His spirit that breaks our heart over what breaks His own. Our flesh is too strong; too much against God. It always will be. We will always come because He called. Consider an illustration: We love to stray away like foolish little lambs after the prizes the enemy like a wolf dangles in front of us. Eventually we find ourselves in the middle of a dark, cold night on a mountain somewhere far, far away from the Shepherd, where we are home. We might still be following that prize, not even realizing that we’ve gotten lost, or maybe the little lamb that’s scared, realizing you have left home and don’t know how to get back. The Shepherd, so faithful, ever true, has gone out to find you. Eventually you hear a call echo through the dark. The Shepherd is calling your name. You whirl around, and cry out in response. You begin to go towards the sound of His voice. He calls again. “Come here. Come here.” Onward you run, unable to resist the call of His voice. He scoops you up in His arms. He has found His little lamb, and once again the two of you are in harmony.
If you have gone astray from Him, as we all have, run back. Do not be afraid of His anger, for He has already provided for you. Your closeness to Him matters. He calls you to Himself because He loves you. How beautiful His heart.
And now father I pray, that for every person who reads this they would fall in love with you even more. That you would touch us, and bless them with your presence, and your nearness, and forgiveness, and peace. All of this I ask in Jesus name. Amen.
I bless you all in Jesus name.