After my pastor and I had our discussion, you know the one that woke me up to my apathy and anger. I went to church for the last night of the revival and the message I heard was you get what you put into it, and if your not ready to move forward you wont. I prayed that night that God would bring me back from where I was at that moment. I asked God to bring me closer to him.
(Later I found in Jeremiah and Revelations we are told to return to the things we once did. Reminds me of a song about how following Jesus should be like falling in love. So we need to spend time with Jesus (praying, reading our Bible's worshiping him, allowing him in our everyday life.)
I missed church on Sunday because if I would have went it would have been a "to do" not because I wanted to be there. My pastor pointed out that God is ever present and being in a church or chapel isn't necessary. So I prayed "Dear Lord, I still love you, please speak to me." I read a little from my Bible but it felt like it was just words, didn't really mean a whole lot at that time. That was the bad day. I believe if that wouldn't have happened I would have continued on the way I was living, but not being at church I realized even more how much I needed God and how much I had been relying on myself. I was broken.
Monday my boss and office buddy were out all morning. I was listening to the radio, and forgiveness came up. All morning I was being convicted of my sins, the ones I had never asked forgiveness for, the ones I had pushed back like they never happened. It was this moment I asked God for his forgiveness and I had church in my office.
When I went to lunch I did some searching of scripture to figure out how to move forward. Once again just searching didn't help me I kept flipping pages, and just couldn't get into it. This depressed me. Why after such a great morning could I not get anything out of the Bible? I'm going to share something I found after that day that would have helped me.
See forgiveness is free; all we have to do is accept it. I once heard that God's mercy and grace were like a shower, when we are dirty from the fifth of this world we can come to God to become clean again. Clean is what Jesus' makes us.
Psalms 103:6-12 tells us
“The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
This tells me so much about God and my sin. First it tells me God is righteous and just, but also compassionate. Righteous and just means he will correct us. Lastly God is love. If you put all of this together you understand that God corrects us like his children, but not to the extent that our sin deserves. He loves us so much, that he removes our sins from us. He doesn't look back on them a year from now. They are no longer a reference point, they are gone. God wants us to fear him, but also know he loves us. Fear doesn't mean your scared to face him, it means you fully know his power. You stand in his awe, and are clothed in his love.
That is where I wanted to be, standing in the awe of the awesome power and beauty, but clothed in his love and forgiveness. By practicing those things I used to do, worshiping God in everything spending time in prayer and reading my Bible (focusing on God). I may not be where I want to be but I am closer then I was.