Is there an area of your life where you were once doing so good, now you find yourself on the struggle bus and unsure how to get off it?
Why do we do that? We do good, we get better, we grow … then we stop.
That’s exactly what we do. We just stop.
We create a good morning routine. We start our day praying on our knees. We are hungry for God’s word. We feel God’s holy presence all around us and we naturally respond to his promptings. We worship him. We praise him. We pray about everything and we are thankful to him for all things. And it grows and builds, and gets better and better … UNTIL WE DON’T.
We don’t make time any more. We don’t put Him first. We don’t feel close. We don’t feel his promptings. Then we don’t grow. It doesn’t build and it’s no longer getting better, it’s getting worse. And it’s all because somewhere along the way, we stopped.
I do it too. I hate it, but I do it.
Is there anything you have stopped and you’re trying to find your way back?
Maybe it was Spring Break and a week of vacation without your normal routines that made you stop. Maybe it was one missed day, and that missed day somehow turned into a missed week. Here’s the problem with missed days and missed weeks … they create ruts. Ruts create big holes where we get stuck. And when we’re stuck in a rut that became a hole, we like to pull a rock over our head and hide in our shame. All while we wonder how we got here and why we feel so yucky about it.
All we did was stop. So that means all we need to do to come back is to start again.
Yes, my sister, that good habit and routine that had you growing closer to God and walking on the path to becoming more like the woman you’re created to be, just come on back to it now!
The enemy loves that rock you hide under sometimes. He delights in the hole you’re stuck in and the shame you feel there. He’s trying everything to keep you there so you sink lower and lower, and further and further from the life Jesus came to give you. Satan will whisper his lies from the pits of hell that tell you you’re a big disappointment and unworthy of more. He will tell you God doesn’t want you back because of all the times you’ve started and stopped, and failed miserably to stay close, but there’s not an ounce of truth in that.
GOD WANTS YOU BACK!
He wants you back in the rhythms that bring you to life. He wants you back in the routines that bring you closer to him. He wants you back in the habits that grow your faith and open your eyes to his involvement in the details all around you.
That little voice that tells you you can’t come back … that’s not God. That’s the enemy who wants to keep you stuck and distant, hiding in shame. You can come back now!
Jesus is the good shepherd, and you know what shepherds do? They go find the lost sheep. The one who has wandered. The one who was doing good, then just stopped. The one who got stuck somewhere along the way and can’t seem to find their way back. Yip, that’s who Jesus comes looking for!
Luke 15: 4-7 MSG, Jesus taught “Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.”
So, you’re one of the girls who gets a little lost sometimes? One that wanders a bit? One that falls out of those good habits, creates a rut, that rut becomes a hole, and there you are stuck in a hole hiding under your rock of shame? You’re one of those too? One wondering why in the world you stopped doing the things that were working so good for you. Well, you are I are the celebrated ones! Jesus rejoices over us, my sister.
We need a rescue, and Jesus has come back to get us!
And what is he saying to you today? He’s saying, “simply come back and return to doing the things I showed you before.”
We don’t need to make this harder on ourselves. Regretting the time we have spent away doesn’t change anything. Just come back now.
If God showed you how to be in his presence before, then get yourself back there.
If God showed you how to study his word before, then just start doing that again.
If God prompted you to pray on your knees, listen to Christian music, turn off the TV, drop social media, or clear the first 20 minutes of your morning for him, but somewhere along the way you stopped, just come on back to that now. Come back to seeking him. Come back to talking to him about everything. Come back to worshiping him. Come back to putting him first. Come back to Church. Come back to responding to his promptings.
When you come back, remember you will not be met with judgment or disappointment. That’s what the enemy has been trying to feed you to make you hide in that hole in your shame. Coming back to the things God has shown you before will result in absolute celebration!
I want you to imagine now that God is leaning over the rails of Heaven, watching you and shouting, “She’s listening! She’s coming back! My girl is coming back! This is her time! Angels, get ready, we’ve got big things to prepare for her now that she’s coming back!”
Jesus came to get you today and lead you back to a life close to him. Back to that daily routine that makes you feel so strong and confident and grounded in God’s word. Back to that routine that allows you to flow in the unforced rhythms were God guides you so perfectly.
You and I are living the rescued life. Rescued again and again. And Jesus never passes up the opportunity to come rescue us and bring us back to him. Here he is taking away your rock of shame you’ve tried to hide under, pulling you up out of that hole, getting you out of that rut, and inviting you back to the things he has shown you before.
Back to a daily connection with him. Back to growing closer to him. Back to learning more about him. Back to talking to him and hearing him. Back to seeking him and finding him. Back to asking and receiving. Back to knocking and having the door opened.
What is God calling you back to now? Will you just start again right where you are, in a totally imperfect and humble way? God will honor that!