N.B: This is quite a lengthy post. So I’d advice you get a bowl of popcorn (or Minimie Chinchin), a cold drink, and put your legs up.
I pray the Holy Spirit teaches you, and opens your mind to what you stand to gain with God.
I am not perfect, no-one is, and very often we find ourselves falling back into lifestyles that we ought to distance ourselves from.
As children of God, we are to live wholly and totally for God.
Easier said than done right?
One thing I am totally grateful for, is the Holy Spirit. Correct me if I’m wrong, but, he is also that small, still voice in our heads that we call our conscience.
Now when you do something wrong, the Holy Spirit speaks to you. Sometimes he goes, “Ihuoma, it is not okay to do what you’re doing. I know you might think that it’s too late to run back to God, but it is NEVER TOO LATE. Talk to him, reconnect, and see him pour his love out to you.”
Other times, it might be an even louder voice of caution!
When we hear this gentle or not-so-gentle reminder, we most times return back to God, sometimes, we don’t. When we ignore his voice and keep at our sin, we expose ourselves to even more danger.
I can give you a lot of heart-stopping, and blood-curling reasons why you should never dwell outside the will of God, but what I’d like to do instead is to tell you how to run (fast!) back to God.
The best part is that following these steps will help you skip all the horrible things you could go through when you live outside the will of God.
Let’s dive right in!
“Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord”. – Lamentations 3:40 (NLT)
An honest examination of oneself is important in knowing where and when you have gone wrong.
You know how you do mock interview practices with your friends and family to know where you have to improve yourself? That’s exactly how you should go about examining yourself.
Be sure to do it with an honest, unbiased mind. Don’t say “..but it was just a little white lie, it really doesn’t count”.
Never try to cover up your wrongs. The fact that you are examining yourself by yourself, and won’t be judged by anyone should let you feel even more comfortable.
Remember that admitting is always the first step to getting better.
2. Remember That Jesus Loves You
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 (NLT)
Isn’t it awesome that someone would willingly offer to die for you? I’m sorry, but I won’t die for anyone. Family maybe (with a lot of contemplation), but my friends? Absolutely not! But this is what Jesus did willingly.
When you begin to understand the level of love Jesus has for you, you will realise that even with all your sins and all your plenty wahala, He still sees past all your baggage and loves you so much. This should push you to come to the realisation that He will always want you to be with him.
3. Run Back to Jesus
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” – Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)
“Now this is what the Lord says to the family of Israel. “Come back to me and live!” – Amos 5:4 (NLT)
“So now, come back to your God. Act with love and justice, and always depend on him.” – Hosea 12:6 (NLT)
At this point, I’ll assume that you’ve thoroughly examined yourself and have come to the realization that you need to reconnect back to God.
You’ve also come to understand the extent of His love for you. Even if it’s a teeny, weeny portion of it, and now your head has been busted.
So, what next?
This is the most important step. This is where you run to Him; receiving mercy and grace to help in living a life pleasing to Him.
Please take note that you do this YOURSELF. No one can run to God or be repentant for you.
I am not saying it’s wrong to be prayed for, but the bible says you should come BOLDLY, not someone should come for you, you should come yourself. Others can help and support, but you have to take take the lead.
Taking this step yourself also allows you pour out your heart and soul to God. He is always willing to listen, so speak.
Do note that genuine repentance is what God wants from us. Please avoid half-hearted repentance, where you actually still love your sin but just saying some words to elevate the guilt.
4. Study and Pray
“How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you, don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I may not sin against you.” – Psalm 119:9-11 (NLT)
From the above verse, we CLEARLY see that one way to remain pure before God is to keep His word in your heart. By constantly feeding on the word of God, we are better equipped to stand in the face of temptation.
For example, you might find yourself going towards fornication or adultery, but because you have been feeding on the word, the Holy Spirit brings to your remembrance 1 Corinthians 6:15, 1 Corinthians 6:19, and a host of other verses to help you get out of that situation.
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere” – Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)
“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all that He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” – Phillipians 4:6-7 (NLT)
Prayer is talking to God. You can talk to Him about virtually anything and everything.
When we make it a habit to constantly commune with God, we find it easier to discern His direction.
Not sure how to study your Bible without dozing off. Ask God. (Read: 7 Quick Tips To Having A Meaningful Morning Devotion)
I am going to stop here because I know first-hand that people have very short attention spans.
This list is in no way exhaustive. They are still so many things you can do to draw closer and remain connected to God. So many resources at your disposal, both, on and off the internet. So many fellowships and study groups you can get involved in.
Hopefully, this post was of great help to someone out there. Please do leave a comment below, and do not forget to share so that whoever needs a word like this can come in contact with it.