Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 1:3 NIV
My kids seem to have stomachs that always need filling. It’s amazing to me how much they can eat. It takes a lot of time, organization and resources to make sure they are filling up with healthy food instead of junk food that is high in carbs and fat. As I complained to myself about this constant need to fill up the kids bellies, I considered the others things that we are constantly filling up because they are emptied over and over again from use.
I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. Jeremiah 24:7 NIV
Things like: the gas tanks in our cars, the pitcher of lemonade in summer, the bathtub, pre-paid phone cards, food in my dog’s bowl and my hand soap (especially during flu season). All these things and many more we fill over and over again knowing full well they well they will only be emptied again. Our hearts that drive our faith and trust in Christ are no different!
Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ Malachi 3:7 NIV
The concept of “filling up” ties into our spiritual lives. We go through times in our walk with Christ when we are strong in our faith, where it’s easier to trust and to see God at work. And there are times when we may have grown numb to His touch, deaf to His whisper, blind to His ways or hardened to His love. So, how do we get it back? We stop filling up on the world, media, friends, social/work events, magazines and drama and we start filling up on His work. We return to Him. We seek Him and again we will see He is still there, still working, still loving and still seeking our hearts.
but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’ Nehemiah 1:9 NIV
I pray these questions will spark something in your heart. If we never go on a quest and consider the questions we certainly never find the answers. May they bring you back to Him.
Does God feel a million miles away to you right now or right by your side?
What actions do you think have gotten you to that point?
Do you seem to draw closer to God during times of trial or in times of prosperity?
What’s one thing I could do this week to “return to Him”?