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How to Return to God

Just do it.  It’s as simple as it sounds.   You jump from the “ship” like Jonah jumped.  You stop playing mind games and trying to figure everything out; you stop delaying and procrastinating; and you acknowledge your need for forgiveness and restoration.   

Just so you know, I didn’t want to return to God and give Him control because I wanted to maintain control of my life.  I didn’t want to subject myself to a bunch of laws and rules.  Then the truth hit me hard.  I was in control of my life and it wasn’t producing the results I so desired.  I wanted stability and balance.  For example, I just wanted to be able to relax on a Saturday afternoon and not be consumed with thoughts of stress and anxiety.

The thought of returning to God was overwhelming and thus I ignored it for years.  Then one day it clicked. 

God wasn’t asking me to clean up my messes before returning to Him.  God was simply asking me to admit my sins and ask for forgiveness.  God already knew every sin I had committed and He stood ready to forgive and restore.  He’s simply asking you to do the same. 

My favorite song is Amazing Grace.  I’ve discovered grace and forgiveness through humility, honesty and confession.  Was the process simple?  No, but not because God made it hard.  The difficulty was in me. God was waiting for me with open arms and He is doing the same for you!

When I finally made the decision to come back to God and give Him control I went through a roller coaster of emotions, thoughts and feelings.  

At the time, I thought I was the ONLY one who was going through this so I felt scared and afraid to discuss it with others.  Thankfully a dear friend and former pastor, Howard Wilburn, took the time to meet with me and discuss the matter.  He wasn’t judgmental.  He wasn’t condescending.  He was a man of God who used scriptures and illustrations to help me understand what I was going through. 

Over the years, I’ve learned my experience wasn’t unique nor was I alone. Every Christian has this struggle and must go through the process of coming back to God.  Jonah’s process was jumping from a ship during a raging storm only to be swallowed by a huge fish (whale).  What did he do?  Go read Jonah 2 and you will see how Jonah prayed to God and praised Him for his deliverance. 

You will face “huge fish” just like Jonah did and just like I did BUT just remember are you comfortable where you are now? 

Returning to God requires we do certain things like laying down our pride, forgiving others, developing patience, applying the right wisdom and committing to serve God everyday.  

I’m not saying coming back to God is a cookie cutter system.  Everyone’s experience will be slightly different. But you might deal with patience better than I did OR you might struggle with patience MORE than I did (and I pity you for that).   And just because you deal with something today and have victory over it does NOT mean you won’t struggle with it tomorrow. However, one thing is for SURE the closer you get to God the easier it becomes to deal with life!

“But Nathan, I don’t like dealing with my emotions.  I don’t like sharing with others when I am hurting.”  Well, then hurt, be miserable and anxious.  

For years, I thought sharing my struggles would make me appear weak.  For years, I thought I couldn’t share my “sins” with another person because they wouldn’t understand or maybe they wouldn’t care.  I let my fears rule my life and it almost ruined my life.  

Listen, sharing your emotions, thoughts and feelings is natural.  Even Jesus did it.   In John 11:35 Jesus openly cried; in Mark 1:41 He was moved with pity; in Mark 3:5, He glared at certain people with anger; in Luke 10:21, He was filled with JOY; in John 12:27, He discussed his sorrow and in the garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed to God that if there was any other way please let it be, He dealt with fear. 

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