Turn To Me

Turn To Me

25 June 2009


12 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time! Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. 13 Don’t tear your clothing in your grief; instead, tear your hearts.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful. He is not easily angered. He is filled with kindness and is eager not to punish you. (Joel 2:12-13 NLT)

Reading the little book of Joel really impacted me this morning. It seems like a picture of my life. God’s people were cruising along, fairly satisfied with a life that was not perfect, but not too bad, and God had become merely a faint outline in the background. Then a plague of locusts swept through and devastated the land, followed by a season of drought. Then they began to be oppressed by neighboring nations. It didn’t take long for their complacency to evaporate like smoke in the wind.

God sent the prophet Joel with a clear and simple message: “Wake up! Turn your thoughts and prayers to God! Make sure your hearts and lives are right with God and trust him with everything. Then God will not only refresh your land, he’ll pour out his spirit on you! God will not only restore fruitfulness, he’ll send abundance! Simply humble your hearts and give God his rightful place in your lives. That’s it.”

When things go well, I credit the blessing of God. Then before long I think I deserve the blessing. Then I soon take the blessing for granted. Then when something goes wrong, I start doing bad theology and complaining to God how unfair it all is. But God is so patient and speaks so clearly when I’m ready to listen:

31 What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. 33 Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. 34 Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Matthew 6:31, 33-34 The Message)


Father, thanks for the simple message of Joel who, in a time of severe testing, said simply, “Turn wholeheartedly to the God who loves you and let him take care of you.” Help me to remember this and apply it to my life when things are going sideways.

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