This morning I found myself reading Jeremiah 29:11… a well-known Bible verse that talks about how God knows the plans He has for us…plans to prosper us and not to harm us…to give us a hope and a future. Of how if we’ll seek Him with all of our hearts we will find Him. That is probably one of the only verses I can tell you that comes from Jeremiah! He was one of the major prophets in the old testament and honestly I haven’t read much of it. This morning I just kept reading, though. And then I came to this:
Jeremiah 31:21-22 (the message)
Set up signposts to mark your trip home.
Get a good map.
Study the road conditions.
The road out is the road back.
Come back, dear virgin Israel,
come back to your hometowns.
How long will you flit here and there, indecisive?
How long before you make up your fickle mind?
God will create a new thing in this land:
A transformed woman will embrace the transforming God!
These verses seemed to really tie in to what has been in my heart to share the last two days: Homecoming. I know that not everyone who might have read the last two posts is out of fellowship with God. I know that the reasons we sometimes find ourselves far from God’s presence and peace can be complicated. I have no idea when I sit down to write why God is directing me one way or the other, but it is my most heartfelt and sincere prayer that He is in fact directing me and so I share my heart, believing that God is reaching out to someone else’s heart. Even if it’s just one person. Maybe that one person is you. Maybe I know you or maybe I don’t…to me it doesn’t matter. But you matter to God and if you are “away” from God…if you have not been in fellowship with your Creator…if you know in your heart that there are things in your life that have muddied the waters of clear and crisp communion with Him…then maybe these last three posts are for you.
I love, love, love the last line of the verses above: “A transformed woman embracing the transforming God.” You know why I love it? Because I have become a transformed woman embracing the transforming God. Does that sound bold? Well, it is! But all of the boldness and sheer joy I get from declaring it goes to Jesus! He will be transforming me for the rest of my life, for sure, but I am starting to “get it.” See, we cannot earn a transformation. We cannot be good enough, follow the rules enough, play the part well enough, or declare loud enough our transformation into being. We also cannot be bad enough, away long enough, or rebel and resist hard enough that it will prevent the transforming from happening…once we make up our minds that we want the transformation in our lives.
Transformation = Jesus
Jesus is the only one who can do the transforming, or changing, in our hearts, minds, will and emotions. He begins this work when we confess to Him that we can never be good enough on our own and that we do in fact need His forgiveness. When we trust that He is so good and loving that He wants to forgive us and help us…when we invite Him into our hearts. He does all of the saving work in our spirits, but we have to make up our minds we want to invite Him to do it. So, if you have never prayed that prayer I invite you to stop reading this and say, in your own words (or mine if you mean them!) what is in your heart to say to your Creator. He “gets” you so it will be fine to do that. There is no script! Now if you have already prayed that prayer but you find that, for whatever reasons, you are not at home in your fellowship with the Lord then again I invite you to seriously consider the choice before you. If you know that Jesus is in your heart, that your spirit was made alive in relationship to God, then I am not writing about your eternity. I am writing about your life on this earth. I am writing about the joy, the pure adventure, of being transformed by your transforming God. There is a heck of a lot more to God and the Christianity thing than escaping Hell. There is a gift of life you have been given…the opportunity as a custom-designed creature of God to experience all that He has made you for. There is joy and peace. There is an indescribable sense of belonging and security, of wholeness, in walking with Him every day. I bet you already know that, huh? Perhaps you identify with what you are reading and your heart is heavy because you know you are not living in it right now…you are His child but you left “home.”
Well then, I don’t know who you are but He does. So, this is for you…a “signpost,” a report on the “road conditions.” Do you hear Him? Calling, inviting you now…