2020 has unquestionably become a year of challenges unlike anything we have known in quite some time. Back in January so many God-honoring persons were declaring this a year of 20/20 vision, proclaiming that we would be able to see ourselves and the King of the Universe more clearly than ever before. Boy were they right! We are seeing ourselves very clearly – all the ugliness and brokenness of our own human nature is glaring at us unabated. If we are looking His direction, we are also seeing God very clearly – and He is calling out to us, “Return! Return to Me so I may heal you and restore your nations.”
“Return to Me!” Can you hear the emotion of His appeal? He longs for humankind and this world to be restored to His original design. He has no ill intent toward any. His desire is to dwell amongst us again, guiding us, instructing us, blessing us, and bringing wholeness to our lives, our families, and our nations. He loves us to a depth and width that our frail human mind and emotions cannot fathom. He loves us enough to allow us to experience and feel the consequences of our own choices. Does He bring judgements against people and nations? Yes, most certainly He does. We see His judgments as punishments. He does not. What good father would withhold discipline from the children of His own creation? The hope of every act of discipline is to restore a child to a good path and to correct poor behavior – not for the sake of the parent, but for the sake of the child…and for the sake of the world that child will some day be responsible for. God’s judgements or disciplines are to bring us to a place of deliverance and restoration. He is hoping for our best, not our destruction.
I am quite certain that this entire globe of individuals and nations are being disciplined right now. The Covid-19 crisis is a global event. There is a lot of finger pointing going on. Everyone is seeking to pin blame for the virus, and for the domino affect it has had on our economies and social structures, on someone or some organization or nation. Frankly, no matter who is to blame the core issues are being missed. Whether it is a person, a lab, a nation, a political party, or other subversive movement, the true issues we are dealing with are a loss of morality and an intent to destroy human life and vitality. Would this have happened had the responsible parties, both for the release of the virus and the resulting havoc we have all experienced, been true to God and His Ways? The answer is “no’. Human selfish ambition, manipulation, and love for destruction is not of God or from God.
In the USA we are certainly reaping what we have sown regarding racial tensions that have exploded into violence and destruction across our country these past weeks. Being a person who grew up in the 1960’s and 70’s, I have witnessed the ebb and flow of Civil Rights issues all my life. My heart is breaking over the loss of every human life and livelihood…no matter what the color of the skin. God must be seriously grieved. This is not according to His Ways at all. Human pain, injustice toward each other, greed, hatred, bigotry (from all sides), love of violence, manipulation, political ambitions…it is all slugging our nation in the face. It is plain human ugliness in destructive action. The hideousness of what humanity has chosen to become is being fully revealed…and the “political correctness” jargon of recent years has done nothing to resolve it. You can paint over ugly all you want to, but the ugliness is still there.
Where is God in all of this human mess? Where He has always been. Just there on other side of the threshold to His Kingdom – a place we were created to live in and operate from on this earth. The Door is open for anyone to step through and re-enter. The Father is standing in that door, beckoning to all who will listen, “Return to Me! Come home! Together, we can put your life and all life on My earth back on track toward becoming what I intended it to be.”
This picture might sound a bit strange to most people. Shouldn’t God intervene and fix it all? He is supposed to be all powerful. He should be able to prevent these tragedies, right? Let me ask you a question. Do you really want the truth? Here it is. He is only able to influence and direct of what we as humans place in His hands to influence and direct – including our own individual lives. He created us in His image (His nature and character) and then placed us in charge of the earth. He still maintains “ownership” – but how things on the earth transpire are related to the choices we as humans make day by day, season by season, year by year, century by century. He does intervene in that He always allows us to experience the consequences of our choices, and He will send a judgement to try to get our attention turned back toward Him. He will even perform miracles and move leaders of nations for or against other nations to achieve His greater plan for complete restoration of our world. But the overall course of human events is much more in our hands than we might want to accept. The Creator King established a protocol by which the earth functions.
Humankind has the irrevocable assignment to keep order, destroy chaos, create good and prosperity, manage well the earth’s resources, care for living creatures, correct injustice, care for the underprivileged, and protect the innocent. Though God has a great deal to say about how things on the earth should transpire in each of these areas, He does not violate Kingdom protocol. All that there is to accomplish on earth is to be achieved through sound human choice and action. (This is why He came in human form in the person of Yeshua. Only a perfect Man has the authority to fully enact God’s plan for restoration upon the earth.) This protocol requires a tremendous amount of heavenly wisdom – and He has provided that for us in His Word. When we turn away from His presence and His instruction in our lives, we lose our heaven-based perspective and destiny…and all on the earth suffers.
Is it too late to Return? Until the Last Day of earth’s exitance as we know it, it is never too late to return! (Yes, He has informed us that His patience with humans on this earth will not last forever.) At this point in human history, we need desperately to ask ourselves the right questions. What does it mean to return to God? What are we being called to return to? You may have heard about the importance of “being saved.” But saved from what? Let’s be honest. We need more than being saved from an eternity in Hell. We need to be saved from ourselves! We have lost what it means, from the Creator’s perspective, to be human. Far too often we struggle to determine right from wrong. Some of us refuse to accept that there is a right and wrong. Yet we know we are broken and, as a result, this world is broken. We want to fix it all, but we do not know how. We are not pure enough in our own intents to accomplish what we truly desire…peace. Peace is the absence of chaos. Peace means nothing is missing or broken. Peace is completeness. We long for peace within us. We long for peace in our relationships. We long for peace in our communities. We long for peace between races. We long for peace between nations. We long for the wholeness and perfection of life on earth as it was in the beginning. We want to return to the Garden of Eden.
But first, we must be willing to return to God. He has a name. It is YHVH: Yud Hey Vav Hey. Ye-Ho-VAH. In Hebrew, His name means 2 things: The Hand the Secures Existence, and Behold the Hand Behold the Nail. His name reveals why we must return – only He can secure our existence. His name reveals how we must return – through the nail pierced hands of Yeshua HaMashiach: Jesus the Messiah. Our return and restoration begin with the perfect Man, Yeshua, who is the Door of Return to God’s Kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven. Once a person passes through that Door and steps over the threshold back into the Father’s Household, one begins to learn how to live again!
What does it take to cross over that threshold and return? A simple confession. “You, YHVH, are God and I am not! I have been in rebellion against You and your Sovereignty, seeking to do things any way but your way. I have rejected your love for me and turned my back against your household and your family. I was wrong, Father. Please forgive me. Please accept my brokenness and make me whole again. I am ready to learn of your Ways again. I am ready to become the person You designed and created me to be. I am ready to return to Your Kingdom and Your Ways so that my life can be lived on earth as it is in heaven. Thank you for your grace and forgiveness given to me through Yeshua my Messiah. I receive and accept Him as my Deliverer and King. Amen (so be it)!”
Did you make that confession? Congratulations – and welcome home! Your life is fresh – reborn! There is a great deal to learn about life in His Family, in His Kingdom. I would suggest these first steps into your new life.
- Get a good Hebrew-based translation of the Bible. The Compete Jewish Bible by David Stern is a good choice. Read the book of Deuteronomy and the four Gospel accounts of the life and teachings of Yeshua.
- Find a Messianic or Hebrew Roots congregation to become a part of. These groups of believer’s love the Messiah and seek to understand His life and teachings by also learning from and understanding the Torah, the Word of God spoken directly to Moses and the Israelites. (Torah: God’s teaching and instruction found in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy – the first 5 books of the Bible.)
- Get a mentor – someone who has been walking a Kingdom of God walk for a good period of time who can guide you as you learn and discover.
- Though Springs of Shiloh Ministries is not a church, you are welcome to turn to us for resources and mentoring. Join us for a tour of Israel and follow our website and blog. Also like and follow us on Facebook.
In next week’s blog, we will start to look at the full scope of returning to God and His Kingdom. His call to return is a call to restore in humankind honor, integrity, courage, and faithfulness – not by our definitions, but according to His. It is the journey of a lifetime well lived…and I am looking forward to walking that journey with you!