Turning Yourself In
- 2008 14 Apr
There is no peace when you're on the run. If you're running from God, it's hard to have peace of mind. You can find momentary pleasure, but not inner peace; fleeting diversions, but not eternal joy; short-lived escapades, but not long-term happiness.
Maybe you're tired of being a fugitive from God. You may be at your wits end, but you haven't been sure where to turn.
You can turn your heart toward home. There's no sin God will not forgive when we come to Him in humble contrition; no shame He can't repair; no barrier the power of the cross of Christ can't demolish. Not even our stubborn addictions can withstand the forceful application of the blood of our Lord. He cleanses us from all sin.
But we have to turn to Him in repentance and faith. Returning to Christ is a matter of remembering, repenting, and redoing. Revelation 3:5 says, "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works." If you've drifted away from God, remember the earlier peace and joy you experienced, repent of your wanderings, and come back to the simple steps of Christian victory.
Surrendering yourself anew to Him requires humility, confessing your sins and seeking reconciliation with those you've been avoiding. It requires godly sorrow, coming to Christ with contrition and earnestness; and determination, for Satan doesn't give up his prey easily. But if you will ask, God will give you the will and the ability to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
When we return, we experience the joy and freedom that comes when we run into the arms of our loving Father.
It's easy to be in church and sometimes to be involved in the Lord's work, yet to be an inward prodigal. Millions of men and women have been greatly used by God after they returned to Him. In fact, those who repent of the deepest sins most understand God's greatest love and are best able to communicate it.
America's first missionary, Adoniram Judson, ran away from his Christian home in the 1700s. Entering Brown University at age 16, he befriended a deist named Jacob Eames. After reading Voltaire and the French philosophers at Jacob's urging, he told his parents he’d become an atheist.
Lured by tales from the American frontier, Adoniram saddled his horse and headed west. Travel weary, he got a room at an inn. He slept fitfully, hearing painful and desperate groans in the room next door, which made him wonder what his friend Jacob's view of fear, illness, and death was.
The next morning, he asked about the man in the next room. The proprietor said, "I thought maybe you'd heard. He died, sir, toward morning. Very young. Not more than your age. Went to that Brown University out East... His name was Jacob Eames."
The West suddenly lost its allure, and Adoniram turned his horse toward home. He gave his life to Christ and, shortly afterward, devoted himself to missions. On February 6, 1812, Adoniram Judson was commissioned as America's first foreign missionary.
We can run from God in many areas in our lives, but sooner or later we grow tired of running. We can ignore a thousand altar calls, spurn a hundred invitations to church, resist a dozen friends who are trying to help us. But God devises means to restore us to himself.
He wants us to have peace, for His very name is Peace. He is the Prince of Peace who said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
He's waiting for you to stop running and to start trusting. You can remember, repent, and re-do. Today can be the greatest day of your life if only you'll bow your head, and say, "Lord, I'm coming home."
This article was excerpted from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah's devotional magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-947-1993 for your complimentary copy of Turning Points.