[RE/ER | pt. 3]
Pastor Phillip O’Reilly
Learning all about God’s grace and patience is refreshing. It’s really cool to think about all the chances we get to do better, and all the time God lets us start over. But. There’s always a but.
God has instructions about how we find redemption, and what it takes to be renewed, He also is very clear about what happens when we refuse. When. Because, inevitably, we will refuse at some point. Inevitably, we will think we know better, we will not listen to God’s timing, and we will take matters into our own hands. We will refuse. God expects our refusal. God is very clear all throughout scripture that he wants us to be obedient to Him. But like everything, we are broken in our humanness, and we miss the mark sometimes. We get so wrapped up in our hurt and the wrongs that have been committed against us that we stray.
It’s simple. There are not 5 steps to success on this one. There are no magic words or an order of things to follow. Instead, there’s just 1. Just one step: Return.
Returning means admitting our mistakes and our shortcomings, listening to see where we went wrong, looking into ourselves, taking correction, and being better on purpose. We need to tune back into God’s desires and wishes for us.
Return requires us to ask tough questions of ourselves. One of these questions is “how easily do I take correction?”. This question is crucial, but not easy. But, like all things difficult, it will positively be worth it.
Return requires listening. Real, good, important listening. We’re told very clearly in Hebrews 12:25 that we shouldn’t “turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn’t get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings? His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time—he’s told us this quite plainly—he’ll also rock the heavens”. You heard right, He promises to “rock the Heavens”. What a shame it would be if we missed that majesty because we just weren’t listening good enough.
Return is what God craves. Comeback is what God lives on. Lost sons and daughters finding their way back is what He lives for. It’s literally why He sent Jesus for us. So that we would have an opportunity to return. Return to Him, His plan, His kingdom, His herd.
So, let go of hurt. Listen. Give it your all. Pray. Bounce back. And come home.