As the years roll by, God’s children can slip into patterns of behavior that, mostly unbeknownst to them, lead to a place absent of the heart and mission of God. It’s subtle, like the dripping of a faucet. Little by little, their eyes veer from the path of righteousness and wholehearted devotion to Jesus. The world and its desires distract even the most faithful and committed followers. If you find yourself in a similar season, here are some thoughts to help you course correct.
First, Jesus’ offer of resurrection life is still available to you. Your wandering heart has not barred you from the kingdom. Christ’s affectionate gaze is as determined and fixed on you now as the day you first surrendered to him. So, come home. He will once again embrace you in his arms.
Second, your possible lack of gratitude for Christ’s death on your behalf does not negate the truthfulness and absolute completeness of his work. Our feelings, though important, are often terrible guides when discerning truth. Whether or not you feel anything at this particular moment, Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection remains the sweetest, best, and most promising news in the history of the world.
Third, the good gifts of life that all too often lead us off course are better enjoyed when we receive them with thanksgiving. Lately, these gifts for me have been beer, baseball, and bicycles. I call them the killer B’s. None are inherently bad; yet, if I overindulge in any of them, my focus and heart posture toward Jesus becomes less evident to myself and those around me.
God is amazingly kind to allow us to partake in such joy-producing activities as baseball and bicycles; however, when void of an acknowledgement of our great Gift-giver, such activities become a mere chasing the wind. They are frivolous and quickly knock us off course. The Scriptures say “everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving” (1 Timothy 4:4-5). Also, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Therefore, partake in God’s good gifts while thanking Him in the process.
Fourth, if you have been living in sin, don’t allow the waves of guilt to sweep you into a sea of despair. Know there is never a moment when the Father rejects you. Because of Jesus and his heart for sinners and sufferers, you can rest in the comfort of his care. Here’s a sweet truth: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (John 6:37 ESV). If you’re caught up in sinful behaviors, Jesus will not cast you out. Ever.
Lastly, there is a place at the Lord’s table only you can fill. It was designed with you in mind. Oftentimes, the competitive nature of our world seeps into the church. Brothers and sisters begin to believe they are competing for positions of influence rather than working together for the souls of broken people. In such environments, it’s easier to get off course than when building one another up is the norm (1 Thessalonians 5:11). God has a specific task for you. He uniquely wired you with gifts to further establish His kingdom. You don’t have to compete because nobody can do you like you. Come home. The Lord is preparing a feast. You belong at the table.
Lots of great stuff will attempt to sink your heart for Jesus and eternity. The world will lay heavy burdens on the person seeking to satisfy its demands. Jesus, on the other hand, says his yoke is easy and his burden light (Matthew 11:30). It is wearisome chasing the world and its desires. If it hasn’t worn you out yet, it will. If it hasn’t thwarted your growth in Christlikeness, brace yourself.
Come home, weary wanderer, Jesus will embrace you in his arms.