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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Return to the Lord (2 Chronicles 30)

If someone asked you, if you are a believer in Jesus, I imagine you would answer, "yes." But what if someone asked you, if you are a follower of Jesus? How would you answer? If you answer "yes," would people around you be surprised to hear you say you are a "follower of Jesus?"

It's easy to say we believe in Jesus, that we attend ABC church, or that we are a specific denomination. But what does it truly mean to be a follower of Jesus?

Well, as I read through 2 Chronicles and the account of king after king, I'm noticing a repeated pattern that reminded me this morning of what it means to truly be a follower of Jesus. This is the pattern I see:

Then so-in-so became came king and he did such-and-such. But he did not humble himself before the Lord.

To put it in our terms today, he went through some of the motions. He might have even called himself a "believer in Jesus." But he did not bow the knee to Jesus and give his whole heart to Him.

Yet in 2 Chronicles 30, there was an amazing example of how God responds to us when we finally realize we've been talking the talk but not walking the walk and choose to repent and humble ourselves before Him.

King Hezekiah dedicated himself to God and to the spiritual reform of the nation. He sent letters throughout the land urging everyone to return to the Lord, yielding themselves to Him alone; not just talking the talk but truly walking the walk.

2 Chronicles 30:6,9 The couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the hand of the king and his princes, even according to the command of the king, saying, “O sons of Israel, return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that He may return to those of you who escaped and are left from the hand of the kings of Assyria.” 9 “For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.”

In other words, people often say they believe in Jesus when their lives demonstrate otherwise. But when we realize this, repent, and turn back to the Lord, He graciously and compassionately forgives us, welcomes us into His loving arms, and blesses us.

So how do we truly "return to the Lord?"

We confess our sin, put Him first in all things, obey Him, and submit our body, mind, will, and emotions to Him. As we do this, He returns to us. His Holy Spirit guides, convicts, and directs our every word and action to be pleasing to Him. And as we choose to heed the direction of the Holy Spirit, truly humbling ourselves before Him, we are filled with the joy of the Lord, even when we are in the middle of a trial.

How gracious is our God to patiently wait for us to realize we are just honoring Him with our lips, but need to humble our hearts and return to Him completely.

Returning to God means living for Him rather than for ourselves. It means before we speak and before we act, we ask God if what we are about to do or say honors Him.

Of course that's easy to say and hard to do, isn't it? It requires us to be in constant communication with God; constantly asking Him what glorifies Him, asking Him what we need to repent of, and staying in His Word so that we can truly hear from Him.

Dear Lord, thank you for this reminder. Lord, today and every day the desire of my heart is to humble myself before You, honor you with my talk and with my walk. Lord, I submit my body, mind, will, and emotions to You. Please direct me so that I honor You in everything; Your will, Your way, in Your time. In Jesus' name, amen.

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