Return, Repent, Shuv and turn again.
We are in the Days of Awe leading up to the Day of Atonement. We know our High Priest, Jesus Christ, took His blood behind the veil, applying His blood to the mercy seat once and for all. Jesus has offered a perfect sacrifice and atoning work that requires no further offerings. No longer necessary is the blood of bulls and goats year after year any longer. However we on the other hand will continue to miss the mark, and on some days it seems we miss it often. I know I do on a daily basis. Thank You Lord Jesus, for giving us seasons of refreshing. Thank you for repentance and for this time, the precious season and appointed time of Teshuvah. This is the time to prepare and rehearse for Your return.
The Ways of God
Your words are wonderful and full of glory
Written and heard throughout Your story
A book given and written by inspiration
To tell of you works to the generations
The children of Israel knew Your acts
But to Moses Your ways became facts
Following Your voice He did lead
For forty years Your friend indeed
Face to face You were in tent of meeting
Your glory would come down, cover sheeting
His eyes and mind from people and distraction
Keeping his focus on hearing commands for action.
Teach us Your “Ways” how we should go
So that into image and likeness we may grow.
Teach us to be Face to Face friends
With You, mighty Father from beginning to end
Revelation interpretation edification
Calling out to me for my sanctification
Found in right place, time for aligning
During this time this season of assigning
Poem written by Laurette Laster © 2017
Hosea 14:1, 2, 9
Return, Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.
Take words with you and return.
Confession is a huge part of our returning or Teshuvah. Paying our vow is having made vows. Yes we are to bring gifts and offerings but also to pay our vows. Have you ever made a vow to our Father only to realize you haven’t been living up to what you vowed? I’m sure we all have at one time or another. In the parable of the Prodigal son, scriptures tells us, when the prodigal son came to his senses.
So the prodigal had to realize his condition and the depravity of his choices. In verse 18 of Luke 15 he says I will set out and go back or return, which is to Teshuvah to my Father, and I will say to him. The prodigal has seen clearly where he came from, and knew to where he longed to return. When the prodigal left he had demanded his inheritance saying, “Give Me” speaking of his inheritance. The prodigal had a sense of entitlement with no wisdom. However during his time in the pig pen and then on his return, his words and his continence had changed. He had been humbled and was returning with new words. He returned with his words of repentance and saying I am not worthy to be called a son, “Make Me a servant.”
Just like trees, we grow and change each year as Christians, or we should. If we are being led by the Spirit we will go through seasons that test us, drain us, threaten our very existence and seasons that nourish and nurture us. The process is what allows us to mature. We should have seasons of maturity and seasons of root work. The maturing actually takes place during the root season and is seen in action during fruit season. The work that springs forth is the new life created and is only the evidence of the hard, cold, dark and very long root season there is a deep work that should take place in our hearts each year as we stop and do an end of year inventory.
In Celebrate Recovery, inventories are necessary and required. There is one huge inventory that is necessary in order to unpack old baggage and start over. Taking an honest and fearless moral inventory is how we unpack the baggage from past hurts, hang ups and habits. I truly believe this is what the prodigal son had done. He was inventorying his condition and comparing it to what his father had for him. We always know when we are living beneath the call and will of God. We may not understand that we know, but still we know.
In CR we are given tools to use for our growth. One of the tools in this tool box so to say, is three different types of inventories. They are, daily inventory, ongoing inventory, and periodical inventories.
We as Christians should be doing these inventories. Where was I, this time last year, two years ago, ten years ago? Where do I want to be, this time next year? Have I missed opportunities God had for me? Did I become complacent or lazy? Have I been distracted by unimportant things?
Seasonal repentance isn’t always the deep, grueling, soul ripping, sorrowful work as was first required. The work that initially ushered us into Salvation and dying to self in order that we may live unto God is a onetime work. This is the work the Apostle Paul spoke of in 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 when he said, “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what readiness to see justice done.” Godly sorrow, also translated “godly grief,” is an acute sense of deep sadness experienced as a result of the sins we have committed. (ESV)
If we are sincere and give Holy Spirit place in our lives we will be changed from the inside out. However it is necessary for continued seasons of growth to mature and to grow.
This season of Teshuvah and returning is a spiritual season that is set in God’s day-timer.
A season of return is real. It is The LORDS feast or festivals, Mo’ed. Mo’edim- His set times and seasons. This is His timing for appointments and yearly checkups so to speak. He tells us not to appear empty handed.
Take words with you when you return, the fruit of our lips, the fruit of repentance.
This morning this song was on my heart.
Here I am, I’ve come to find you
Here I am, to seek Your grace
To bring to you an offering, I have to ask myself one thing
How can I can anything but praise, I praise.
Here I am, I’ve come to thank you
Here I am a life You’ve changed
Because You gave your life for me, You crucified Your Son for me
How can I do anything but praise?
I pray that during this season of repentance, we Return and Teshuvah back to our first love. I pray we find Him, Praise Him and truly enjoy these times of refreshing. I pray we have a deeper intimacy than ever before with our Savior. I pray you know Him privately, and personally as well as publically. He is The King of kings and The LORD of lords.
Let us pray
Dear Heavenly Father. I want to know You more intimately and personally. I want to grow in truth and in grace. I know that in order to grow I must be seasoned and I must continue to dye to myself in order to live unto You. Show me Lord what is distracting me, teach my how to become rooted and grounded in the things of the Spirit. I do not want the smell of the world on me while I play dressup in the church. I want to be the church, and look like the church and smell like the church. I want to be all in, completely submerged, over my head in love with You Lord Jesus. Thank You for setting seasons and for dress rehearsals. I pray I am found dressed and ready for Your return every day not just sometimes. Amen
I have grown this season and fallen more in Love with our Father, The Lord Jesus and Holy Spirit, The God Head of our salvation. I pray you have also.
Don’t miss this season of Teshuvah it is my favorite time of the year.
Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette