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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Getting Back to God in 2019

In review of Jeremiah 29:13 it says, “When you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed” (The Message).

Today’s verse is from Jeremiah 29:11-13. Where Jeremiah, speaking for God tells me, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans He has for me. They are plans for my good and not for disaster, to give me a future and a hope.” When I pray, He will listen. If I look for him wholeheartedly, I will find Him.

I'm encouraged by a leader who stirs me to move ahead, someone who believes I can do the task he has given and who will be with me all the way. God is this kind of leader. He knows the future, and his plans for me are good and full of hope. As long as God, who knows the future, provides my agenda and goes with me as I fulfill his mission, I can have boundless hope. This won't mean that I won't be spared pain, suffering, or hardship, but that God will see me through to a glorious conclusion.

God has not forgotten me. In times of deep trouble, it may appear as though God has forgotten me. But God may be preparing me, as he did the people of Judah, for a new beginning with him at the center.

According to God's wise plan, his people (including me) are to have a hope and a future; consequently, they could call upon him in confidence. Although the exiles were in a difficult place and time, they did not need to despair because they had God's presence, the privilege of prayer, and God's grace. God can be sought and found when I seek him wholeheartedly. Neither strange lands, sorrows, frustration, nor physical problems can break my communion with God.

How do I get back to him? There are three things I need to do to get back to God.

First, get fed up with your life. Nothing is going to happen in my life until I get dissatisfied with the way I am, until I can say, “I don’t like this. I’m tired of being stressed out all the time. I’m tired of being frustrated all the time. I’m tired of being overworked all the time. I’m tired of feeling distant from God.” Why does God let me get to this point? Because he loves me just the way I am, but he loves me too much to let me stay that way. He will not let me waste my life. God tells me in Jeremiah 29:13, “When you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed” (The Message).

Second, own up to my sin.
Isaiah 59:2 says, “The trouble is that your sins have cut you off from God. Because of sin he has turned his face away from you” (TLB). It’s much like having prayed and feeling like God was a million miles away or like there was this wall between us? Where does that come from? My sins have separated me from God. But if I feel far from God, guess who moved? God has always been there. He loves me unconditionally, and he’s waiting for me to own up to my sin so I can have a right relationship with him again.

Thirdly, give up control. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings ever greater glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (NCV). True transformation happens when my heart moves from self-centeredness to God-centeredness. Am I there yet? That kind of transformation doesn’t happen overnight. God is going to work on me my entire life. But to start the process, I have to make a decision to repent and, “in view of God’s mercy, to offer myself as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1 NIV).

What I’m being reminded of this morning is that God desires to be close to me and he promises that when I seriously seek him, I will not be disappointed.

Bottom Line:
If you look for Him wholeheartedly, you will find Him.

What this means to me:
You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart.

In summary, God has plans for me and they are plans for my good and not my devastation, to give me a future and a hope. When I pray, he will listen. If I look for him wholeheartedly, I will find Him. God is a great leader who believes that I can do the task he has given me. He promises me to be with me through it. While at times it may appear that God may have forgotten me, he is preparing me. I can seek and find him if I wholeheartedly look. In order for me to get back to him, I need to "get fed up with my life and the way things are going / turning out."  Next I need to own up to my sin, which has cut me off and kept me disconnected from a close relationship with him. Lastly I need to give up control. I need to move from self-centeredness to God-centeredness. God desires to be close to me and he promises that when I seriously seek him, I will not be disappointed.

Going into this holiday break I had, I had experienced a year in which I had been stressed out, frustrated and overworked. God had taught me a lot about myself, and my humility. This year, I want to continue to get closer to God. I need to consider what sin in my life am I allowing to block me from my closeness with him. In retrospect, the thing that comes to mind is my own self-centeredness. I will need to give up control of my situation and how I have been managing it. I know the things I need to do to clean things up and bring organization and process. I need to concentrate I accomplishing this through him and his guidance.

Today Father, I thank you for the wonderful time I had off. I thank you for my new grandson Xander and the time I've had with Logan. Today I ask for your guidance and wisdom in my work, relationships, leadership and responses to others. Help me work stress free today and just enjoy life. These things I pray in your Son Jesus name, amen!

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