On my knees with my face in my hands bent over in grief. Tears soaking into my palms as I plead with God, “Please forgive me Father.”
It had been some time since I had read the Bible or even really paid attention to the things of God at all. I talked to Him every day but it had become more of a ‘religious’ conversation. Keeping in touch just enough to hold onto Him but not enough to really be following Him. I was living my own way going my own direction. I would ask for protection and for a ‘good day’, hoping that He would have my back as I walked through life. But then one day it hit me…..
I had drifted.
Going down my own path I had wandered so far away from God that when I turned back to see Him I realized, He wasn’t there. The reality sunk in that my direction had gone off course. I was no longer seeking Him. I was no longer living for the things of God but for myself. My heading had shifted so slightly that I hadn’t noticed it. I was still talking to God on a daily basis but I wasn’t listening. I wasn’t concerned with what He had to say or what He wanted me to do. I had my own plans and was just hoping that somehow, they fit into His.
Sin had quietly crept into my life. I found it easier to compromise the standards of God to fit in with the world. I found myself becoming complacent and comfortable around things that God isn’t. Without even realizing it, I had gotten myself lost and I didn’t know how to come back to the Lord.
The Bible refers to Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Praise His holy name that He is exactly that. In addition to being God, Savior, Lord and Creator over all creation, He also bears the title Good Shepherd who goes after His flock. He will seek us out and come find us when we have gone astray. When we have wandered out of the safety of the sheepfold, He will grab a lantern and His staff and go on the search for us until we are safely back with Him. I can’t remember exactly what it was that caught my attention one night. I believe it was a sermon I heard on the radio. All I remember is the sharp pain of reality striking at the deepest part of my heart and soul that I was not where I should be. Like a child who has lost his parents and has no idea how to find them, I dropped to my knees and cried out to God.
Suddenly, through the darkness, a light shines from my Savior’s lantern. It draws closer and closer until I feel the strong yet tender arms of my Lord pick me up and hold me to Him. He had heard my cry. He had found me.
Sometimes it’s a slow fade away from God. Sometimes it’s a big compromise for different reasons. We want to be liked by the world. We are curious and drawn away by the enticements of sin. We’ve been hurt by other Christians and feel like we just need to escape it all for a while. Whatever the draw might be, whatever the reason, we must always remember that anything that tries to steal us away and keep us from God is a lie from an enemy that wants to kill us. The only way he can do that, is to get us away from the Shepherd.
Jesus. Lord of all creation. King of Kings. He, who spoke the world into existence, loves you. He cares for you. He willingly picked up the cross and died for you, taking all the punishment for all sin upon Himself to give us the hope of forgiveness and to spend eternity with Him in His Kingdom. There is no sin, no mistake, no wrong you could ever do that is too much for Him to handle. He knows your heart better than you do. He knows your sins before you even think of them. He knows your fears and failures. He knows your pain and suffering. Jesus knows everything about you and He loves you more deeply that you could ever imagine. Deeply enough to say, “I know you will sin. I know you will stumble. I know all about your fears, your failures, and your weaknesses, and I am going to die for you in your place so that you may live.”
Sin has to be dealt with. Sin resides under the wrath of a Holy God. Jesus took that wrath upon Himself so that whoever believes and puts their faith in Him will be saved from God’s wrath on sin. Jesus paid for sin in FULL. There is no sin that He won’t forgive. No failure He can’t cover with His grace. No sinner that He can’t comfort with His mercy. The only sin He can’t forgive is the rejection of Him. He paid the price for sin. He alone can rescue us from sin and God’s wrath upon it. If we reject His offer of salvation from sin, we have no other hope.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, how bad it was, or how many times you did it. It doesn’t matter how far into sin you’ve fallen or how far away from God you are. He knows your heart. He will hear your cry. He has paid for all your sin. All you have to do is repent of it and turn to Him. Surrender to Him as Lord and trust in Him completely as your Savior. He will not turn you away. In fact, He will draw you in and hold you tight. He will wash all your sins and failures away and give you a new life in Him. He has great things planned for you. You can trust Him and His love for you completely. Let go of your fears. Trust in God today. He’s just waiting to hear you cry out to Him.
Let Jesus rescue you today.