The Shepherd Leads to Restore

Did you ever get in your car to go somewhere only to recognize that you had taken the wrong route and out of habit started driving to work? The route back on track is quite simple for a trip like this. However, if you were taking an extended trip and missed a turn some 25 miles back, the way to get back on track would be more difficult and time consuming.

Sometimes, we find ourselves turned away from God. Depending on how long we are in that state before recognizing or desiring to return will affect the route back to God and how long it will take. Regardless of whatever the situation, if you are turned away from God, the shepherd will provide leadership to restore you.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3)

The way back to the lord will vary slightly from person to person, but the shepherd will guide you back in the same basic manner.

First, the shepherd will lead you to recognize that you are away from him. This may seem basic, but it is not. It is the Lord who gives repentance and when he reveals to you that you have drifted or turned from him, he is doing a mighty work in your life that only he can do. (2 Timothy 2:25)

It is at this point that you must yield to him and if you do, he will continue to lead you on and his leading will bring you to see the stumbling blocks that you have allowed into your life. He will point out things such as people, places, entertainment or indulgences that are keeping you from victory and experiencing the joy that he has for you. By the power and leading of the shepherd, he will lead you to remove those obstacles.

The path, that the shepherd lead you back to himself, will bring you to resources for victory. Because truth brings victory and freedom, he will lead you to the truth that you need. You will find it in the Scriptures which may be revealed by friends and spiritual leaders. Evidence that you are following the shepherd towards truth will be when you are seeking truth from the Scriptures and attending services in the church. Truths from the word of God will usually encourage your faith and may instruct you as to what you may need to put off or put on in your spiritual life. (Ephesians 4:22-32; Romans 13:12; Colossians 3:8-14)

Another source of truth may come from spiritual music, which can minister to you and equip you with your worship and walk with the Lord. Your times of rejoicing in the Lord will be greater steps of progress on your way back. As your heart is lifted up in song, it is actually the shepherd interacting with you and lifting you up as he lead you along the path back to himself and to victory.

While you were fallen away from God, you hurt yourself and others. The Lord will lead you to repair the damaged relationships that your sin has caused. The shepherd is not only interested in delivering you from actions of sin: he also wants to restore you to himself and to others because he is concerned about relationship. It was his desire to have a relationship with you the caused him to seek you out and to lead you to trust his son. His desire and concern for relationships did not stop there. Relationships are vital to the Lord. The church, your family, your life as a child of God and your interactions with the world are all relationships that concerned him. The only way for those relationships to be right is for your relationship with him to be right and as a shepherd, he will restore you to that relationship by leading you to himself.

Remember, the steps back to him may be many or few, but they will involve recognizing your condition of being astray, removing stumbling blocks from your life, obtaining resources of truth for victory and repairing relationships.

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He Still Wants to Use Me? (John 21:17)

Peter cannot bring himself to say that he loves (agapao) Jesus.  The best type of love that he believes he has is phileo or brotherly love.  Jesus continues to prompt him to feed his sheep and lambs.  Peter cannot get past his failure of denying Christ.  How can he feed God’s lambs and sheep with such limited love?

Jesus knows his inner turmoil and condition of love.  He then–with that understanding confirmed–gives the charge again to Peter.  God’s calling upon Peter’s life was prior to his failure and in recognition of it.  He wanted Peter to know that regardless of what had happened, he still wanted him to be an Apostle.

Like Peter, we sometimes limit ourselves from what God has planned for us.  We get so focused on our failures and cannot see God’s plan or believe his calling is upon our lives.  

Instead of trying to figure it out, we should just listen to the voice of God’s leading.  He will lead us to exactly where he wants us to be.

You Can Always Come Back (Mark 16:7)

Did you ever have a friend that you were close to, but then something happened between that marred the relationship to where it was never able to be restored? If it did not happen to you, you probably know somebody who experienced it. In situations like that, the division may be mutual with neither person attempting to reconcile the relationship. There probably have been situations where both people wanted to reconcile, but thought that the other would have nothing to do with them and therefore never made any attempts for restoration. Cases like this are similar to the Apostle Peter and Jesus.

At a most critical time, Peter denied Jesus and went against his proclamation of never denying him and even being willing to die for him. The shattering in the relationship occurred at the sounding of the cock crowing. From that moment on, Peter lived with the guilt and shame of his decision and subsequently walked away and returned to fishing. The self verdict from his guilt was that The Lord would no longer want him, but he was wrong. Jesus knew the struggle that Peter experienced. So when he sent message that he was going to Galilee, he told Mary to tell the disciples and Peter that they could see him there. Had he merely told her to tell the disciples, Peter would have excluded himself from the group because he felt unworthy.

But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. (Mark 16:7)

The love of God is so great that regardless of how far we have walked away from him and how long we have been away, he wants us to return. There is nothing that we have done that can deter or diminish his love for us. He will always want us back into a relationship with him. If there are any hinderances to us returning, these hinderances are either created by our own belief system or we have bought into the lies of the enemy that daily war against our hearts and minds.

If you are away from God, he wants you to return to him. Nothing needs to be accomplished in order to be accepted back. Whatever baggage you bring, he will sort out the mess that has been created. He will lead you back into the path that leads by the still waters and bring restoration to your soul that you have been longing to experience. Right now, he is waiting for you to come back.

If you would like to read more of these thoughts in a hard copy format, my new book is now available at the link below.

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