There have been a number of times in my Christian walk when I have fallen away from the Lord. I was distracted, gave in to the desires of this world and unwilling to give up my own personal desires. Other times, I felt too embarrassed and disgraced to return back to the Lord. How do I return back to God? I know Him, He speaks to me, I know the word- how can He forgive me?. I am no longer worthy of being His servant. Also, the judgement of others was something I feared and dreaded. What will other Christians think of me if they knew the sin I had committed? My Christian friends make the Christian walk look so easy, perhaps there is something wrong with me.
Returning back to the Lord after falling is something that requires humility and genuine repentance. It is not always easy to forget the mistakes we have made, but God is ready to wash it away and give us countless chances in life (2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land).
I want to encourage you today, that regardless of what you have done that may not have been pleasing to God, He still loves you. God cares about you, and the fact that You are still alive shows that He still has a great plan for your life. The enemy tries to deceive us by whispering lies to make us feel less worthy. However, it is written: Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
In Luke 15, God illustrates His unconditional love and joy towards us:
The parable of the lost sheep
Luke 15:4-7 What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
You are very precious to the Lord, He loves you so much that He is willing to leave behind His other children to go after you. You are dear to Him, and He rejoices when You return back to Him. No matter how big the sin, He is ready to embrace you and call you His child
God continues to emphasize on His delight in us returning to Him and how much He honors genuine repentance:
The parable of the lost coin:
Luke 15:8-10 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost. Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Lastly, in the Parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), a son greedily asks his father for his inheritance, which he then recklessly squanders and is left with nothing- not even food to eat! However, he humbled himself and returned home to his father and asked for forgiveness. His father felt compassionate towards his son and was grateful that his son was still alive and came back home. He did not condemn him for the sin he committed, but embraced him with love (Luke 15:22-24 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate).
Regardless of how far astray you have gone from God, it is not too late to come back. God is patiently waiting for you, to shower you with His unconditional love and welcome you back home. In your own words, pray and speak to your Father; converse with Him the way you would with your best friend. Pour out and tell Him exactly how you feel and pursue genuine repentance.
If you are believing God for the salvation of a loved one or are praying for someone who has backslidden, keep pressing on, its not too late ( see the blog post: Salvation of a loved one). The prodigal son is still able to come back home in Jesus name!