“Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord God Almighty. (Malachi 3:7)
Our tendency is to depart from an intimate, authentic love relationship with God. Our independent, rebellious nature… though crucified with Christ…has a lingering effect in our soul–thoughts, emotions, and will. Thus, we frequently give-in to untruthful thoughts and unfettered feelings that lead to harmful behaviors. All of this is sin! It misses God’s purpose for our lives and takes us away from our love relationship with him. We need to turn away from our sin and return to God.
Meditate on the following verses. Listen to God’s call. Humble yourself before God and repent–turn away from your sin and turn to God. Prayerfully ask the concluding questions of God’s Spirit and let him show you his truth.
…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:25-27 (NIV)
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 (NIV)
Wash out: Are there thoughts about God, yourself, and others that need to be “washed out” of your life by God’s truth? Are their actions, behaviors, habits, or sins that need to be “washed out” of your life? Your marriage? Your family? Your church? Confess them–name them individually and agree with God about the wrong, turn away from them and turn to God.
Wash in: Are there truths or beliefs God wants to “wash into” your life? What good things–actions, behaviors, and habits–does God want to “wash into” your life? Your marriage? Your family? Your relationships? Your church? Pray that God will build those thoughts and actions into your life and surrender to the motivation and energy of God’s Spirit.
[Click here to listen to Psalm 51, the classic prayer of repentance written by King David.]