“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)Here is God’s heart towards mankind, He is eagerly waiting to have compassion on all who would turn to Him and to abundantly pardon their sins. God is like the father of the prodigal son. After the son came to his senses, he decided to return to his father and to ask for his forgiveness. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20) It is apparent that the father was watching for his son, watching and waiting for his son to return, ready to forgive all of his transgressions. Our heavenly Father is ready and waiting to pour out His compassion and mercy upon us, we just need to return. Here are four things we need to do in our return to the Father.
Seek: We need to seek the Lord. “For he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) Seeking the Lord is an act of faith. We cannot seek the Lord if we doubt His existence. Seeking the Lord is also an act of expectancy. When we seek the Lord we should expect to find Him, and to be rewarded by Him for our seeking. Whether we are seeking Him for forgiveness, healing, or direction, we should seek Him expecting to receive. It is not enough to “go through the motions.” Performing religious traditions will not get the job done. If we want to receive from the Lord, then we must seek Him in faith and expectancy.
Call: We need to call on the Lord. “And he called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ ” (Luke 18:38-39) When blind Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing by he was not shy about calling out to him. Even when others rebuked him and told him to keep silent, be was not dissuaded, he just called out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Bartimaeus’ hope was not on the crowd. He knew that there was only one person who could heal him and he would settle for nothing less that an audience with Jesus. As he called out in faith, Jesus heard him and healed him according to his faith. We will not call out to the Lord if we are concerned with the crowd around us. If we are worried about what people will think, then our faith will be nullified. We need to call out in faith to the only one who can help us, and He will grant us our requests.
Forsake: We need to forsake our sins and our evil thoughts. “For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.” (1 Peter 4:3) It is time to be done with sin. Before we were saved, we were slaves of sin, but now that we have been redeemed, we are freed from our bondages to sin. We no longer have to sin. We may still sin, but we do not have to sin. It is time that we relinquish the deeds of the past and to begin to practice the deeds of righteousness instead. If need be, we must be willing to give up our previous behaviors, ways of thinking, and even relationships. All that would hinder our walk with the Lord must be left behind. We are journeying forward with the Lord. We have no time for the dissipation of the past. “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8)
Return: We must return to the Lord. “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.” (John 7:37) Thinking about returning to the Lord is not enough. We can talk about seeking the Lord, but talk is cheap. All our best intentions fall short if we fail to act upon them. We need to make a conscious effort to return to the Lord, to seek Him, call upon Him, and to turn from the things that are offensive to Him. Until we actually do these things, the words of God will remain nothing but unfulfilled promises. Let us not talk about seeking the Father, let us actually seek Him and find Him.