God has really been working on my heart.
Last night when I went to church, I had such an uplifting experience.
We started out with some worship and I could already feel God's presence moving through the congregation.
Then we heard our pastor speak about ransom, about how in a way the devil has captured us at ransom and God will relentlessly search and try to find us. They showed a couple clips from the movie Taken and we related God's search and unending love for us to Liam Neeson's relentless search for his abducted daughter.
The sad part is that while the daughter from Taken was physically captured and dragged away, we as people walk willingly into sin's arms. We betray God over and over with our unfaithfulness, and although we do this, God is still searching and patiently waiting for our return. He loves us so much that He withstands the pain of our betrayal constantly and still embraces us when we come back. Our pastor made a great connection between the story of Hosea and our relationship with God. God told Hosea to find a promiscuous woman and marry her. Hosea did that, and his wife would leave and cheat on him with other men. God would tell Hosea to go out and find her and bring her back. Hosea went out and did this many times, even though he was probably heartbroken and angry, he did it anyway. Now imagine how God feels, as mankind, we fail to stay faithful to the Lord. Sin pulls us back and we leave God heartbroken. I think this is a great way to look at it. I had never thought of my sinful ways in the past as breaking God's heart. I had it in my head somewhat, but it wasn't until church last night when I made that connection. I know how it feels to be cheated on and how easy it is to be angry and push that person away, but God is so gracious, He just pulls us in closer! It's so incomprehensible how great God's love is for us. Even though we sometimes run away, He will always take us back lovingly.
"What makes grace so amazing is how it comes to us; not as a debt collector demanding payment or a judge demanding retribution, but as a lover, requesting only our heart's affection."
How can you experience this love and not want to surrender your heart fully to Him?
After the sermon, we had another time of worship. We sang the song "You Won't Relent" by Misty Edwards, and it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I have always sang this song in the past and yeah I believed every word I was singing, but it wasn't until last night that I truly realized God's unrelenting love. I had never been able to really accept it before because of how ashamed I had been for my running in the past, but last night I let it all in. I felt God's spirit overwhelming me. I could just feel God's presence enveloping us all. It was incredible.