Wandering off?


I prayed to God, ‘Dear God, my Master, you created earth and sky by your great power—by merely stretching out your arm! There is nothing you can’t do. You’re loyal in your steadfast love to thousands upon thousands—but you also make children live with the fallout from their parents’ sins. Great and powerful God, named God-of-the-Angel-Armies, determined in purpose and relentless in following through, you see everything that men and women do and respond appropriately to the way they live, to the things they do. (Jeremiah 32:17)

NOTHING he cannot do. NO ONE he overlooks. NOTHING he will not respond to. Three very important things we must learn about the God we serve. He is ever-present, all-knowing, and all-powerful. This is the God who requires obedience of his children - of those who say 'yes' to his invitation to become part of his family. 
God is also LOYAL. I don't believe we fully grasp the meaning of loyalty, for at best, we have seen 'images' of loyalty, but not true loyalty. He is faithful to each and every oath he makes. No promise is given in haste - it is well-planned and backed by his power, love, and presence. The steadfastness of God might just mystify those of us who tend to waver back and forth between obedience and doing our own thing. That 'steadfastness' of God is something we can 'bank on' even when our 'loyalty' to him isn't all that 'loyal'.

Steadfast means he remains when we wander. When our commitment is very 'flexible', his loyalty to us is 'inflexible'. This 'inflexibility' of God's commitment to us is based in his tremendous love, cemented in his never-ending grace, and 'redoubled' in our hearts and minds each time we feel his presence within us. God's love is relentless - it pursues and pursues, never letting go of even the most hard-hearted of us. This should come as good news to those of us who pretty much struggle with this thing we call 'obedience'. The other thing about God's steadfastness that we may not recognize at first is that it is 'unquestioning'. We can go our own way for a while, but when we decide we have had enough of our own wandering, God looks at us through eyes of unquestioning love. Yes, his heart breaks with our disobedience, but his heart never turns away from us.

Do we always get what we deserve by our wandering? Indeed, we do not. There are many circumstances in my own life where I put myself smack-dab in the middle of a muddle that should have ended poorly. Did I always reap the ugliness of my sin? Indeed, I did not. Did I regret it and deal with emotional upheaval over it? Absolutely, but I did not have to dwell in it because God's love restored what I could not do on my own. Nothing he cannot do, no one he will ever forget, and nothing he will not respond to - remember these things about God the next time you decide to 'change your loyalty' a bit and wander off for a while. It is these very things about God's steadfast love and commitment to us that bring us back time and time again. Just sayin!

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