I remember the time when church was my only source of spirituality. There was the occasional prayer when I had a need but for me God was in the confines of the church and that is where I needed to go to find Him. Did I pursue Him during the rest of the week? No, I didn’t. I lived my life and He had His own thing going and I didn’t want our worlds to collide. Once a week was enough. I can’t believe I lived like that. That is what religion did to me. It pushed me away from God. It kept Him between four walls and it gave me no desire to spend time within His place. I didn’t understand that His Spirit could dwell in me. I did not know much about the Holy Spirit. I was very lost but I thought I was very found. I was lost in the ways of the world. The world mattered so much to me. God was just an accessory I put on when I had a need. God is not a piece of clothing we can wear as a shield when we feel like it and then we take it off when we feel safe.
God’s love is not a conditional offering that we should give into occasionally. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was real. His death and resurrection were real. The power of the cross is still real. The power of the blood is still real. The Lord’s love is still real. What happened to me after years of contentment without the Lord still baffles my mind. I was very lost and very out of touch with God’s reality but He kept in touch. God never left my side. He never hated me and He never gave up on me. He left the ninety-nine to find me and bring me back. Today I want to remind you that you are never too far gone. You are never too lost. God will find you and He will leave the ninety-nine for you!
I believe it’s possible to go to church every Sunday and not know God. It’s possible to be in a Bible study and not know God. It’s possible to pray to God every day and not know God. I have been to some of those places and they are empty lands where no joy, no peace and no love exist. I hated being in those arid places because nothing bloomed and I couldn’t see the end of the tunnel. The monotony of church was underwhelming. I just went through the motions and I pretended I had it all together but nothing was happening. There was a void on the inside and I didn’t know how to fill it. Church didn’t cut it so I turned to the world to get my fill. The world had some fun plans for me but they were not part of God’s plan.
I went through a long wilderness. I stood as far from God as I could stand but He never left my side. I couldn’t see Him but He had His eyes on me the whole time. You see, God doesn’t give up on us. He knows us better than we know ourselves and He can see the big picture, the frame, the photo and the negatives. The negatives in my life were many. I lived in a constant flow of negativity and I didn’t know there was a way out. I had not been introduced to the Lord properly but He introduced Himself to me and that changed everything in me.
There are various degrees of being disconnected from God. We can be on the opposite side of the spectrum or we can be a few steps away. No matter how far or how close we are, as long as we are disconnected, we can’t function properly in this amazing Christian life. God will reignite the light and He will bring us back because that is who He is. A simple cry from the heart on our part will take us far, so far that we can land in His arms again. The truth is that the Lord is closer than we think but we are the ones who put distance between Him and us. Trials and tribulations can also drive us away from God. Problems have a way of digging ditches where we fall and we can’t seem to get out anymore. God will leave the ninety-nine and find us wherever we are. All it takes is His grace and mercy or like I said a faint cry from the heart.
God sees our hearts and He replies to our tears. He reads our minds and He satisfies our hearts. When you long for a deeper connection, you open the door to much more than you could imagine. The Lord will take care of you. He will show you His love and He will show you how much you mean to Him. You are worth leaving the ninety-nine. Don’t despair because you feel disconnected. God is connected to you and He is taking you back where you belong. God will find you. Let yourself be found. You are not lost!
Suggested reading: Matthew 18:12-14; Luke 15:3-7; Hebrews 13:5