March 23, 2015

Step Back Onto Your Path

It's happened again. You've gotten off track, lost sight of priorities and commitments, walked away from your path. The good news is, God is always right there to redirect you back onto that path and hold your hand the entire way. This has happened to me several times in my life, and most recently it happened again. As I stopped going to my church groups, stopped attending services, and kept telling myself that it was only for a week or two until I got everything in line and had room to breathe again - a week turned into two weeks, two weeks to three weeks, three weeks to a month. Before I knew it three entire months had passed since I had been to any of my groups, services, or connected with really anyone. This is called isolation. Please don't mistake it for depression, as I was still joyful and blessed, but just decided to go it alone for a while.

"He who willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment." (Proverbs 18:1 AMP)

Let me tell you first hand, we cannot do this alone, nor were we meant to. There's a reason that God didn't just leave Adam, he needed a helpmate and he needed companionship and fellowship. There is a reason that God designed the church body with so many different parts that are designed to come together and work as one. When we are going through times of trial or perhaps something emotional or even physical in our lives, our first reaction is often to just withdraw. We tell ourselves we will just study at home, watch services online, text someone every once in a while just to let them know we are still alive. For some of us we physically can't get to church and that's understandable, however, make sure you stay grounded not only in your studies but in keeping connection and fellowship with others. If you're having one of those good days physically and there happens to be an event or service at church, GO! Fight the discomfort, fight the awkwardness, fight the fear of rejection. 

"It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,
But if there’s no one to help, tough!

Two in a bed warm each other.
Alone, you shiver all night.

By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped."
(Ecclesiastes 4:4-12 MSG)

In today's technology there are so many ways to make sure that you don't isolate yourself: TV sermons, livestream services, telephone, text, email...the list goes on. So I would encourage you, if you have fallen off path, kind of lost your own for spirit for getting involved and connected - grab Jesus' hand and let him walk you back down that path. He misses you, he longs for your company, and so do other believers who are your friends and church community. You think your presence doesn't make a difference, that no one will notice you if you're gone for a week, or two, or six? I know that feeling, I thought the same thing. Until others reached out to me in love, let me know that my presence was missed, let me know that they missed my smiling face and my input in discussion.

Those things make us feel special, wanted, loved, and valued. This is what you are blessed with when you come together with a group of other believers. You receive acceptance and are reminded of your value and worth, not only in the presence of God but in the presence of your friends and community. Spring has just started and what better way to refresh and renew your spirit and your commitment than to make a promise with God and yourself that from today forward, you will not isolate and you will not go it alone. Grab the hand of God, grab the hand of the person next to you, embrace those that are trying to show you love and making an effort to be in your life. 

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV)

Spring is a time of newness, growth, hope, and second chances. A time to flourish and begin again. Not just for the trees, flowers, birds, creeks and rivers - but for you, God's chosen and favored child. You DO make a difference, you ARE loved, you ARE worth more than the most chiseled diamond and the most brilliant ruby. Won't you walk with me, hand in hand, down this path that Jesus sacrificed his own blood to give us? Let's start fresh, stay committed and accountable, and grab ahold of this beautiful chance of a new start with everything we've got!

No comments:

Post a Comment