September 30, 2021

Don’t Keep Going, Return

Return to the LORD your God for he is gracious and merciful. (Joel 2:13, ESV)

If you have ever been going down a wrong road, or discovered you were going in the opposite direction from where you want to be, then you know it doesn’t make sense to keep going that way, the best thing to do is stop and turn around. Sometimes we can feel ourselves slipping back into old habits, revisiting those attitudes, behaviors, or patterns we vowed never to engage again. Its not uncommon to slip or find we have returned to places or relationships we didn’t want to be again. Find ourselves eating, drinking, anxious, doing things to cope that are not healthy for us.

The people of Israel had distanced themselves from the LORD their God through disobedience and hard hearts, but God assured them through the prophet Joel that all they had to do was return. He would be waiting for them with open arms. What a relief! God holds out that same invitation for us also. He says when we find ourselves distanced from him due to prayerlessness, wordlessness, disobedience, or sin, then we should just return. Instead of continuing those things that will not yield good results, doing those things that cause us to fall away more, return to him, turn to him, run to him, rely on him, call to him, immerse ourselves in his words.

The last part of the verse says God is gracious and merciful. That means he won’t chastise, demean, or turn his back on us, but get us the help we need to get back on track, back to where we belong, back to where he, good health, and grace and mercy are. Let’s Pray,

Dear God, thanks for making it so simple and for promising not to turn your back on us—not even when we have slipped away—but to help us get back to where we need to be, back to your gracious presence. Amen     

Questions for Soul-Tending

Do you have something you need to return from?

How will you incorporate today’s message into your plan of soul-care?

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