Monday, April 11, 2011

Prone to Wander

It has been awhile, dear bloggers. But I have missed writing what I am helps me so much to apply it to my life. So I pray that it speaks to your heart and encourages you to action.

“Sarah, I wonder if you could look at it as if Christ is your husband and He sits waiting for you with open arms while you play the harlot, running from Him?”
These kind and ever so gentle words (ha) from my mentor Jeanie felt like a ball of fire that bounced off every uncomfortable corner of anything hidden in my heart, exposing and enlightening until nothing was left uncovered. You can imagine how shocked my face looked at this point in time. I had no words.
She was right; I was running. I was rebellious. I was angry. I wanted to sin and keep doing it and I was finally going to choose my path and not feel a twinge of guilt. I had succeeded in hardening my heart and had almost made it through her interrogation unscathed. The comment felt like the horns of Jericho supernaturally knocking down what I had thought was a carefully constructed fortress. I was down for the count.
Hosea could have given Jeanie a run for her money. When God chose him to speak to the nation of Israel, his first instructions were to marry a harlot. Thus Hosea became an example of God and his wife who had been a harlot, Israel. I never knew there were such rich treasures in this prophetic book.
In Hosea 2:2-5, the Lord speaks of Israel’s unfaithfulness. He says, “Plead with your mother, plead- for she is not my wife and I am not her husband-that she put away her whoring from her face…for their mother has played the whore; she who conceived them has acted shamefully.” Quite a pill to swallow.
Israel had been worshipping other gods in the pagan countries around them. When there was famine or drought, they would worship Baal instead of their own One True God. (1 Kings 18-19) They had broken their “marriage” covenant with the Lord by being unfaithful—in Jewish law this was punishable by death. But God disciplined and did not destroy.
As I studied this passage, I couldn’t help but recognize how my own heart has done this so many times. It’s easy to point at Israel and see how different and sinful they were. But what reasons did Israel chase after other gods?
1) They were rebellious sinners. Isaiah says we are all sinners, and that none are good. We have all turned aside. (Is. 53:6) I know I have.
2) They exposed themselves intimately in the culture around them. I.e. through marriage, etc… They had become “of” the world, not just “in” the world. 1John 2:15-17) Our culture has unfortunately crept further than it is welcome into the Truth of Scripture and the lives of believers.
3) When trials struck, they placed their hope in something else. They did not trust God to provide. How often do we rely on our own strength or on the strength of our friends, family, alcohol, etc.?
Suddenly, Israel doesn’t seem so different, do they? They were just screw-ups like us and yet God had mercy on them. And He would eventually extend that mercy to the rest of the sinful world. (John 3:16) That means He has extended that grace to us. Even while we were sinners, that is when Christ died. (Romans 5:8) No matter how much of a “whore” we have been. No matter how deep in the hurt of our lives we have dug ourselves. He waits with open arms. All He asks is for faith that He is enough. We simply must believe and follow Him.
For me, it is a constant turning back around and running back to his arms. My husband has infinite grace and mercy, infinite love that He never holds back no matter how much I may hurt Him, and infinite power to constantly be working in my heart and changing it daily to be more and more like him. Why would I want to run?

“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above.”