Pieces, broken and scattered pieces; it's the way we feel when God sends us a trial, when we are faced with fear, put in a tough situation or even going about our day-to-day activities failing to sense that God is with us. What about when people let us down, when our dreams and hopes don't turn out according to our plans or when our goals become bigger than our God? Have you ever stopped to think that maybe God isn't missing, we're just missing the point. God doesn't give us His heart in pieces, yet every day we give God pieces of our heart, our life, our time, our trust and our thoughts.
Jesus is called the Prince of Peace, but sometimes we treat Him like the prince of piece, only taking time to think about His death and resurrection over times like Easter, Communion or when we decide to read the Gospels once every couple of months. How can we expect to truly find Jesus, if we fail to seek Him wholeheartedly?
"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" Jeremiah 29:11
In the book of Hosea, God instructs Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman who ends up being adulterous. God uses this story to show us how Israel has been betraying God by loving and lusting after things other than Himself.
1. We Belong to God:
God doesn't need us yet He chose us. "Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the Lord their God, will save them." Hosea 1:7
God is the only one that can save us and the only one who can save others. God is a jealous God, we need to remember that our life and the lives of the ones we love belong to God. He makes the decisions, He gets the glory, we are His people and He is our God.
2. Love God With All Your Heart:
'I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery. Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’ Hosea 2:4-5
How often do we confess with out mouth that we love God above all else, yet we choose things daily over His presence. I spent an entire year longing after what I thought was a dream God gave me and it gave birth to things in my heart that were not from God. 'I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery' I conceived self-righteousness, entitlement and wariness as I seeked to complete tasks rather than seeking more of Jesus.
What about when you get what you want? The food, the water, the linen etc. Last year I met the man of my dreams, He loves Jesus, serves whole-heartily and respects and treats me the way every girl deserves to be treated. But ever so often I have to remind myself that I said "I do" to Jesus, who is and forever will be the lover of my soul, my groom, before and even after the day I say "I do" to my earthly husband.
3. Find Jesus and You'll Find a Way.
"Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way." Hosea 2:6
Most times we think the more we practice the better we will be, the more we work the more we will achieve, the more time we sow the more we will reap and after a while we become so consumed with our doing that we forget who we are becoming. If our actions start affecting our heart instead of our heart affecting our actions then we start to lose sight of our path amongst the thornbushes.
"She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them." Hosea 2:7
When we chase after the things we love instead of the One whom we love, there will always be a longing for more, a whole that cannot be filled, a missing piece that cannot be replaced.
4. Acknowledge God as the Source
"She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold-- which they used for Baal." Hosea 2:8
Day after day we give recognition to others and we desire to be recognised, celebrated and praised. We may forget that every good thing comes from God and put our trust in things other than God. Who do you acknowledge as your source of information, joy, peace, affirmation and love. When we lose sight of God as the source our heart of thankfulness turns into a heart of self-righteousness. God will withdraw what withdraws you from Him, when you place your trust or desires in something or someone other than Him.
"Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready." Hosea 2:9
5. God will Expose your Heart
"So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of my hands." Hosea 2:10
When you set your eyes on things other than God, you heart will be filled with things other than the fruits of the spirit. You'll become defensive and insecure, compromise on decision and choices that were once steadfast and immovable, be tired and worn out as you do things out of your own strength rather than from the overflow of God's strength in you, become desensitised, losing compassion, in the things that once brought you to tears in thankfulness and so on.
BUT.... (read Hosea 2:14 - 23)
- God will draw you back into the quiet place and the Holy Spirit will start ministering to your soul.
- God will restore your fruits and it will give others hope.
- He will restore your passion as in the days you first fell in love with Him.
- God will be faithful to you even when you weren't faithful to Him. He is your Husband, your first love.
- God will remove your desire for anything else other than Himself.
- God will restore your security, confidence and safety.
- God loves you daily even when you choose things over Him daily "I would rather do..", "let me first do.." instead of seeking first the Kingdom of God and all of it's righteousness.
"I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD." Hosea 2: 19-20
God is everything you have ever been looking for, everything you have wanted and everything you have ever needed. Aim to see Him in the midst of it all, when you find yourself lusting after things other than God, don't beat yourself up, give it to God and He will put all the missing pieces back together. He gave it all to be with you, so give it all back to Him!
Have a blessed Easter.