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The Final Destination

Why is it so hard to go back to church after we haven’t been for a while? Why is it so difficult to pray (unless maybe in a state of panic) when we haven’t prayed in months, maybe years? Why is it so difficult to repent and fully give our lives back to God after a time of sinning and sometimes chaos? I know it’s difficult – I’ve been there! That feeling of pride, guilt, maybe even shame is not from Jesus and prevents us from having the fullness of joy that deep down we know comes from a relationship with God. Yes, perhaps we’re feeling convicted about what we’re doing or have done but God will not make us feel guilty or shameful. He will not put our emotions or conscience in a place where we don’t feel like we can go back to Him and back to church (by the way, if your church is making you feel guilty or shameful and not teaching God’s grace…find another church). We see in Matthew 21:28-32 that Jesus’ heart is one of compassion and forgiveness. Jesus blesses and more importantly accepts us even after a time of backsliding and sin, as long as we genuinely repent and believe. In fact, Jesus implies too that the ‘fake Christians’ (in this case, the Pharisees) will enter the kingdom of heaven last – if at all! You see, Jesus doesn’t care what we’ve done. Jesus doesn’t care if we’re “tax collectors” or “prostitutes”; He sees the heart. He looks at our hearts after we’ve said “I will not” yet eventually choose to follow Him. It’s better to have been on a journey as long as the final destination is Jesus and repentance than to walk in prideful circles with a stubborn heart.

Is He Not Strong Enough?

“Is He not strong enough? Is He not pure enough? To break me, pour me out and start again?”

That is a line from a Stacie Orrico song that I listened to alot when I was younger, and it has recently been coming back to me. The significance being that God is strong, God is pure, God is wise and holy, so why hesitate to let Him break us, pour us out and start again? This song goes through doubts that so many people have that are actually hindering their walk with God and their ability to enjoy a full relationship with Him.

Doubt // “As I rest against this cold hard wall, will you pass me by?”

We are scared to be overlooked. We as human beings are constantly worrying about whether we’re good enough, whether we’re worthy enough. We might ask why someone would bother to stop and take time with us. We might wonder why we’re not on the same level as someone spiritually and feel ashamed or maybe embarrassed because of it. We might feel like we’re not good enough for God to finish up the work He started in us. For this reason alot of the time when God does come knocking we turn away in shame and hurt because we’re afraid that if we do actually let Him in, He’ll find that we haven’t progressed at all. He won’t find a young budding leader ready to take on a college ministry or start preaching on a Sunday. In fact we’re worried He might find that we’ve gone backwards not forwards, down not up. He might find that terrible thought you had yesterday, that thing you did with that person, that show you watched. Let me tell you: God will not pass you by. And when He stops and sees you, He won’t be revolted or disappointed and turn away because God already knew all those things, all those thoughts, all those words you said and He STILL chose to stop and not pass you. He STILL chose to break you, pour you out and start again. Will you let Him?

“By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before Him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and He knows everything.” 1 John 3:19-20

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