A few weeks ago on a really cold Sunday morning, Darren and I decided not to go to church because we felt it was too cold to take Ezra out.
I had been feeling a bit down for a few days, thinking about everything that had been going wrong around us and just dwelling on those things. It just felt like nothing ever went according to my internal plan and I was so frustrated and sad about it.
I’ve felt like my emotions have a mind of their own. It’s like a yoyo, 1 minute I’m up, one minute I’m down, and I was finding it so difficult to get that under control.
That morning, even though we weren’t going to church, I decided to sit down with my bible and get an uplifting word from God. I closed my eyes and asked Him to lead me to it Himself. When I opened my bible, I felt led to the book of Hosea. I’d never read this book before, and I didn’t know much about it either. Once I started reading, I was sure that it was not God who had led me to this scripture.
Hosea 2: 2 (NLT)
2“But now bring charges against Israel—your mother—
for she is no longer my wife,
and I am no longer her husband.
Tell her to remove the prostitute’s makeup from her face
and the clothing that exposes her breasts.
3 Otherwise, I will strip her as naked
as she was on the day she was born.
I will leave her to die of thirst,
as in a dry and barren wilderness.
Was this God talking? I thought that He would never leave or forsake me. I was convinced that this was not where I was meant to be reading, because this was not uplifting, but something convinced me that I was right where I needed to be. And so, I asked the Holy Spirit what this meant? Why was I here at this harsh scripture? This part really stood out to me:
“Tell her to remove the prostitute’s makeup from her face
and the clothing that exposes her breasts.”
The woman that Hosea is speaking about is his own wife, Gomer. She was a prostitute, a lady of the night. A woman that gave herself to other men over and over again even though she was married. And she wasn’t married to just any man – she was married to Hosea. A well respected man in the community, a man that God had chosen as a prophet to speak through, to His beloved nation, Israel.
Why was God telling Gomer to take off the prostitutes makeup and clothing? I believe its because it is the very thing that was keeping her from Him. The things that had made her a prostitute were the things that God was telling to get rid off.
Because He missed her. He loved her and was desperate to get her back – thats why He used such harsh language.
It didn’t take me long to realise that I had something that was putting some distance between God and myself as well. I’m no prostitute, but I realised my desire for breakthrough in a certain area and my need to have everything go according to my plan had become my idol, and I worshipped that desire more that I worshipped God.
I started asking myself some questions about God and His character. Why is there distance between Him and I?
It’s because I moved. I shifted my focus off Him and onto something else. How can He be a part of lie when He IS truth? How can He be apart of the darkness when He IS the light? And how could I have the audacity to ask Him, a Holy and just God to compromise Himself to suit my own, selfish desires?
When I realised what I had been doing and how I had landed myself in this situation, I felt like I was too far gone. How was I going to get back to that good place with my Jesus? When I heard and felt Him close to me? I carried on reading.
Hosea 2: 14 & 15 (NLT)
14 “But then I will win her back once again.
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her there.
15 I will return her vineyards to her
and transform the Valley of Trouble[b] into a gateway of hope.
She will give herself to me there,
as she did long ago when she was young,
when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.
God’s desire is to win us back and give us hope of a better future. To get us back to a good place with Him, where we have that intimacy with Him again. He wants to know Him well!
My question was, why?
The answer? Love. The answer is always love.
He loves us so intentionally and intensely, so desperately that He’d take us in even after we’ve been unfaithful. Think about it, the God that created the heavens and the earth. The God that created the most beautiful thing you have ever seen, wants to have you close to Him – and He wants to be good to you. He just wants to love on you.
Hosea 2: 19 & 20
19 I will make you my wife forever,
showing you righteousness and justice,
unfailing love and compassion.
20 I will be faithful to you and make you mine,
and you will finally know me as the Lord.
This kind of love isn’t always easy to accept and embrace. Unconditional love is difficult to understand when you’ve been hurt, used and abused, betrayed. So how can I accept it and start to know Him this way? Just make a decision.
Today, I’d like to encourage us (because this is for me as well) – to decide to take off the mask that hides our reality from God. Take off the lies, and embrace the truth. The truth is that God loves us unconditionally – but He cannot love your lie. Remove that wall of lies between the 2 of you and feel the warmth of His loving embrace.
Thanks for coming by after far too long!