God is intensely relational. There is a cry from his heart that is in every generation & expressed in every book of the Bible that asks: ‘Why do you remain so distant when you could have intimacy with me?’. The greatest invitation ever issued is found in the book of James: Draw near to God & He will draw near to you. He desires to be intimately close. We are told that he is a God who is passionate about his relationship with us. (Exo.34:14).
When Adam & Eve disobeyed in the Garden they hid from him. Yet He came looking for them, calling out: ” Adam, Eve. Where are you?”
God hadn’t changed but they had. Guilt & shame caused them to distance themselves from him. The relationship became awkward & formal instead of intimate. They no longer felt like they belonged. They felt estranged, unwelcome & unloved. They lived as if these feelings were true.
Today is the first day of Lent, the 40 Days before Easter. Traditionally ,it is a time of reflection, repentance & sacrifice. We usually vow to give up something like candy or TV.
We label Lent as a time of repentance; a time when we confess our sins ,both what we’ve done that is wrong & what we’ve not done that we should have done. We promise that we’ll do better.
Like New Year’s Resolutions these self-efforts rarely make any lasting difference. At minimum, the sugar or caffeine withdrawal just makes me cranky.
Repentance does not mean confession. Repentance means to turn in a new direction. It means to make a radical turn from one way of life to another. It is an absolute change of mind or action; moving away from certain actions, attitudes or emotions. It is an intentional turning toward new emotions, attitudes & actions.
Sin is meeting a legitimate need in an illegitimate way. It is meeting our needs through self-effort rather then having them met by God or what God provides. Repentance is a radical turning from the Self-Life to a life of Intimacy with God.
Repentance is a Declaration
Dad, I’m Coming Home
I’ve heard the whisper. I’m coming home. I’m feeling a little awkward. It’s been so long since we’ve really talked. Do you remember all those times when we played hide and seek. You would run through through the house yelling ‘Where are you? I can’t see you’. You would cover your eyes & pretend you couldn’t see me. I would pop up from under the table & giggle’Here I Am. I love you, Daddy. ‘
I’m a big girl now & I still love you Daddy. Let’s talk.
Love your Daughter
Where Are You?
- Declare – I’m coming home.
- Commit to 15 minutes daily with Dad
- Ask– how does Dad see our relationship?
- Tell– I’m feeling awkward because….
- Listen– for the whispers
- Write a prayer of response
- Be Real