Making a ‘U-Turn’
Getting along in life, getting older is getting interesting for me these days. Besides new aches and pains popping up every morning I find that my memory is not what it used to be. I spend many long meditative moments peering out into the garage unable to recall what it was I went out there for in the first place. I also make several trips back inside the house to check the stove and coffee pot were turned off and that I locked the front door.
Getting older also means that my eyes are dimming making finding places and reading maps a little more difficult. As many women already know, men don’t like to stop for directions. We are quite content to ramble more than once through town in search of that one business we are looking for. To stop for directions means admitting we need someone’s help and therefore come up short in some area. But the truth is we do need someone’s help to get us to the correct destination especially when we begin to travel down the wrong road.
Repentance is the act of turning away from things that are harmful to us and turning towards God. He calls us to separate ourselves from things that can harm and lead us away from Him. Jesus commanded us to repent from all activities that do not bring the Father glory; literally to stop living life on our own terms and make a U-turn back to Him. God has warned us about these areas of life that separate us from His loving kindness and His protection.
Last week we talked about the sheep knowing the shepherd so well they recognize His voice and they follow Him. The main characteristic of being Christ-like is to love others unconditionally. God knows are individual tendencies toward sin and posed a question to the prophet Jeremiah “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9.
The Lord desires to replace our old cold, stony hearts with new hearts, hearts that are soft and pliable available to demonstrate His love to others. Concerning the re-gathering of the nation
Of Israel God tells the prophet Ezekiel “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statues and judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11:19-21.
Today is the day and now is the time to make sure our lives are falling in line with God’s word. We must take a hard look at our lives to see if we are going down the wrong road. With all the distractions that are ever present in this life it is so hard to find time to spend in the word of God. But we can’t truly follow Jesus until we repent and turn back to Him. If we are to please Him we have to start with our own hearts, searching and surrendering all deceitfulness that is inside.
How can we begin to soften up an old heart of leather? With the oil that is the Spirit of God through prayer and reflection we begin to surrender our will to His. Then as we allow God to clean out the dust within, our temples become a larger home for the Holy Spirit’s re-filling and leading.
Let’s look inside our hearts and investigate our motives for the way we spend our time, money and opportunities. It’s been said before, that you can discover a lot about a person by looking at their check book registrar to see where their funds go. What movie ratings do you allow into your mind? What do you watch on U-Tube in the privacy of your own room? Has gambling, alcohol and drug use fettered your life and finances? Jesus said to break those chains that bind you!
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule your hearts, to which also you were called to one body; and be thankful.” Colossians 3:12-15.
So if you find you’re lost and going down the wrong road then stop right where you are and go no further! Turn around 180 degrees (repent) and run do not walk back to your Heavenly Father who will be waiting for you with open arms.