Summary: The title says it all ... A message for those who have backsliden to see how to get back to God.
How To Get Back To God
Intro - Robert Robinson had been saved out of a wretched life of sin at the age of 23, Robinson wrote the hymn Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Sadly, Robinson wandered far from those streams and turned from the Lord. One day -- he was traveling by stagecoach and sitting beside a young woman engrossed in her book. She ran across a verse she thought was beautiful and asked him what he thought of it.
Prone to wander -- Lord, I feel it --
Prone to leave the God I love.
Bursting into tears, Robinson said, "Madam, I am the poor unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago, and I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then." - Kenneth W. Osbeck, 101 Hymn Stories, p. 52.
His story is similar to the condition of Israel in our selected text. Israel had rebelled against God and found themselves in a very difficult place. They cried out to the Lord but there was no power in their prayers.
They were a backslidden people who had turned from the Lord and were suffering the consequences.- Jeremiah 3:6 ¶The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. 7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not.
Israel had been warned and had suffered the consequences of their sin. Yet they continued down that same path.They had the opportunity to repent of their transgressions and return to the Lord, Yet they failed to seize that opportunity.
You may be here and you have wandered from the Lord. You have had opportunity after opportunity to repent and you refuse. You have seen the sin in your life and continue on that path. You must grasp the fact that you have transgressed the will of The Father and you need to return to Him while there is still time! God has spoken to you through His Word. You have 66 books that are filled with the truths that are needed to guide your life.You have been convicted by His Holy Spirit but continue to rebel and live outside of God’s will.Do you understand the fact that a Holy God is giving you an opportunity to be restored? Better yet do you realize that it is His desire that you return to a right relationship with Him?
I want to examine this text and learn from the stubbornness of Israel. Join me as we consider the thought the thought “How To Get Back To God”
Maybe you are here and you know that you need to be restored, but you just don’t know how! My prayer is that through this message you will find the way to return to your Father.
The first step in “Getting Back To God” is :
I. Recognize Your Sinful Condition v20 ¶Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.
The term “dealt treacherously” literally means “to cover or act covertly” It carries the idea of being unfaithful or deceitful.
Israel is compared to an adulterous wife.These words are spoken to a people who had left God and worshipped idols.
The Lord says in v1 “…thou hast played the harlot with many lovers;” They have been and are once again being confronted with their sin.
God always has and still does confront sin in the lives of His people.Throughout the pages of the Bible we read where Israel was confronted with their sin.Many times they continued to rebel and on the occasions where they did return to God, eventually they rebelled again. We have an interesting connection to this text. God uses the comparison of a wife being unfaithful to her husband. We are the bride of Christ.
Let’s look at this in the literal sense. A marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman. There are vows and commitments made between a married couple, If the wife breaks that vow it is the ultimate betrayal. She has gone after her personal lust and broken the vow and commitment to her husband. Suppose that you have been betrayed by your spouse. Many of you may have actually experienced this in the past. It literally breaks your heart! This is what Israel did to God!
You all know the saying that anything that you put before God is an Idol. I don’t have to run down a long list of material possessions and personal activities that fit this description. Examine your own life. Is there anything that comes between you and God?