Listen to this devotional:
Ephesians 2:13 – But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. (NIV)
There was a challenging Christian T-shirt that came out years ago with the slogan, "If God seems distant in your life, then guess who moved?" It was meant to get people to question their relationship to God and to reflect upon their lifestyle choices, which may have separated them from God and even pushed Him out of their lives altogether.
I can remember when I was about sixteen years old, saying to God, "Thanks for being with me up till now. I can take it from here, on my own." I let go of God at that moment in time and cast Him aside. I was making my own decisions, and I didn't want God to interfere with what I was doing. There was a whole world to explore, and I wanted to enjoy every last moment of it. I didn't need God, His commands, or His words hanging over me. I didn't want His Son or His Spirit to cloud my enjoyment or rain on my parade. My life was my own, and it didn't belong to anyone else.
Within three years, I had ruined all my relationships with my friends. I missed the opportunity of going to college. I overdosed and ended up as an attempted suicide in an emergency room. I was drunk every night and had no money in the bank. I was in a dead-end job and had no prospects. I hated myself, and I hated my life. So much for handling everything on my own!
And then, the blood of Christ saved me. I, who was once so far away from God, was brought nearer through His grace, mercy, and love. God was right where I left Him, at the centre of my life, just waiting for the day when His Son, Jesus, would bring me back to Him. He hadn't moved.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, if we feel distant from You today, bring us closer to Yourself. If we have strayed in the wrong direction, or followed forsaken paths, or drifted away from You, reach into our hearts, and restore our souls this day. Let Your blood cleanse all of our sins. Let Your words heal our mistakes. Let Your grace turn our lives around today. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.