Three words are wrecking me right now as I draw closer to the Lord, "Return to Me." There are words I personally hear the Holy Spirit whisper, but hearing these words strikes the deepest places, forming ripples on the surface of anyone who is willing to respond. His beckoning is an individual word and a corporate word. With a word like this, there is a drawing to intimacy, which can only come through transparency. There is a call to repentance, a word that is avoided and offensive. I want to encourage you and to challenge you to hear this simple statement from the Lord, "Return to Me."
The Corporate Call
There is a corporate clarion call going out to the body of Christ. It is this simple call, "Return to Me." When I hear this statement, I am immediately reminded of the passage in Joel 2:12-13,
"Yet even now," declares the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments." Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.
We are reminded later in this passage that the ministers of the Lord are to weep and to posture themselves in such a way as to intercede for others. Church, we are a royal priesthood. Where is our weeping as of late for others and for the matters mattering to God? In my own nation, the United States, I find myself crying out for forgiveness on behalf of our nation for the shedding of innocent blood and for allowing the plowing of sinking sand, spiritually speaking. I hear the call so clearly, "Return to Me. Beloved, you are in a pivotal time. Where is your heart?"
There is such a stirring spiritually to hear the voice of our beloved and to hearken to His call. He wants us to draw close to Him, leaving all else behind us. If we want reformation and revival, we must be willing to weep and to intercede. We have to be willing to pray through the arduous situations. We must be willing to repent on behalf of others and to yield to personal reformation. Returning to God, turning back to Him has less to do with self and more to do with becoming one with Him. By pulling away from the real matters on the heart of God, we have divided into camps when we are to be the bride of Christ.
The call to return to the Lord is a trumpet being blown across the body of Christ. It is a blast to awaken us from slumber, to pierce the hearts of those who have grown numb and distant to the things that grieve His Spirit. I know this is a challenging word, but we need to be challenged. We have eaten sugary messages for so long, we have succumbed to a comatose state. It is time for believers to arise who will weep for the matters close to His heart, and they are able to weep and to intercede because they have returned to Him.
A Personal Word
I am not immune to this word. There are places in my own personal life where I need to return to Him. It is easy to get distracted and complacent when the busyness of everything surrounds you. We all have moments where we take a different path and we get lost in the weeds of life. As I thought about what God was saying, I knew that this word was also to encourage others in their personal walk with the Lord.
Some of you have felt as if you could not hear His voice anymore, and it is because you got lost in the weeds. Return to Him. Some of you are waiting to be a better version of yourself before you relinquish it all. Stop waiting. Return to Him. Some of you feel too broken to contemplate an intimate relationship with God. Don't you know that your brokenness attracts Him? Authentic vulnerability always wins over false humility. Return to Him and let Him make you whole.
Even in my own life, as I cry out to Him, I say, "In my times of brokenness, I return to You. In the busyness of life, I return to You. In my fractured moments, I return to You. In all of it, I return to You. I cannot do this without you, Jesus." Stick close to the Lord. No matter in what state you find yourself, return to Him. He is releasing a call in the depths of His people to return to the matters that matter, and intimacy with Him and knowing His heart matters to God.
Dawn Hill is a Christ-follower and a freelance writer. She writes a blog called "Lovesick Scribe."
This article originally appeared at lovesickscribe.com.
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