"Return to me, and I will return to you," says the Lord Almighty. But you ask, "How are we to return?" —Malachi 3:7
How do we make our way back home? First, you have to recognize where home is. It is the center of God's will; it is those decrees, statutes, precepts, laws, word, promises, and statutes. The Bible tells you what God wants and how to live your life. That is how you begin to find your way back home. Second, admit how far from home you are. Don't play games with yourself. Admit you have become cold inside, that your attitude is not right. Third, know that God loves you. And even if you are a backslider, you are still loved. God, who made you so that you will only be happy when you are in His will and utterly miserable out of it, is asking you to come home. Fourth, you have to admit what is wrong. It is coming to terms with what you know is true. Sometimes it can be helpful to pour your heart out to another Christian, but the main thing is that you sort it out with God. Fifth, you need to ask for mercy. When you ask for mercy you know you have no bargaining power. You can't snap your finger and tell God that He has to do this for you.
Years ago, when Louise and I, with TR and Melissa, went back to Ashland, Kentucky, on vacation, I couldn't wait to go to the house in which I lived from the age of four until I was seventeen, the year my mother died. But when I found it, I discovered the owners had changed the house all around. I thought, How dare they do that! It wasn't home. You can't go back to things in this world, but you can come back into the will of God, and He will bring you home.
Excerpted from Between the Times (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 2003).