Hosea 5:4 The Wrong Spirit

Boat being towed

Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the Lord. Hosea 5:4 

The spirit of a person is what can drive him to do or not do something. It will often reveal what is in his heart or what his motive is in what he does or does not do.

When in a group setting, the spirit of the group can move many individuals to do things that they would not normally do. It will cause many people to go with the flow. Once in the flow, they are unable to back out and do something different.

God had revealed that Israel had a spirit of prostitution. They were giving themselves up to false idols. As a group they were moving together away from God. They were caught up in the flow to the point that they were unable to return to God.

Even today it is very easy for people to get caught up in the flow of some spirit that is moving a group of people. People do not take the time to realize what is actually happening, what the flow is about. They just get caught up in the excitement of the moment.

Often that excitement is in doing things that are against God. On the surface it looks and sounds good, but the spirit underneath is one of prostitution, following after the idols of this world–pride, selfishness, sin.

As long as one is running after false idols he cannot return to God. He has to stop chasing the false idols and turn towards God in order to return to God. It has to be a conscience effort, not just a crowd following hype that will bring a person to God in heart and soul.

You may find yourself being caught up in the flow of thinking of this world, a chasing after some false idol. It may seem innocent, such as seeking a higher position in a job for better pay, or it may be steeped in sin.

The heart or spirit of why you are doing what you are doing must be determined. As a believer your heart should always to be one of running after God’s Spirit, wanting to do what He is wanting to do.

Do not allow yourself to be caught up in the spirit of this world, chasing after false idols. Chase after the heart of God and live for Him.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that your heart will chase after God’s heart; that God will keep you from being caught up in the false spirits of this world; and that you will acknowledge God in every area of your life.

Ezekiel 11:18 Returning And Cleaning Up

Dirty room

They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. Ezekiel 11:18 

During times of cleaning, it is common for a person to ignore certain areas. They are sort of out of sight, out of mind, so why clean it. It is often thought that there should be nothing there to clean when it is unseen or unused. However, dirt does still compile in all areas.

Leaving a place empty will cause it to get dirty with dust and dirt over time that settles every where. When a person returns to it, he must clean it up to have it prepared to be used again.

At the time of Ezekiel, the Israelites were in captivity, but only for a time. God was going to gather them together again and return them to their land. At the time they return to their land, they would clean it up again, removing all the idols that ere there.

Before becoming a believer, every person has some idols and vile images in his life. The world promotes sin and idol worship. At the time of becoming a believer all these idols must be removed.

However, some will go back to those idols and worship them some more, rejecting God. In the process, God may cause the person to go into exile to get his attention. God’s hand of blessing and provision may be lifted for a time to draw the person back to Him.

Once the person returns to God, the house needs to be cleaned up. Removal of sin and sinful practices must occur. The believer’s heart must be dedicated to serving God and God alone, not being divided between God and idols.

This cleaning is not a one time cleaning, but an ongoing cleaning. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in cleaning the heart of a person and keeping it pure for God to work with.

As with the Israelites, there are idols that you had worshipped in your past. Allow God to clean up your past and remove those idols. Move away from those idols and worship God alone.

Jesus came to remove sin and cleanse you from all sin. Allow Him to do so in your life. Do not allow yourself to go back and pick up those worthless idols, but clean them out of your life. Have a clean temple for God to dwell in.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God’s Holy Spirit to clean up your life; that you will not return to old idols of sin; that your life will be focused upon God; and that you will be a clean temple for God to dwell in. 

Jeremiah 3:10 A False Return

Mountain turn

“In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 3:10 

People are brought to court every day for things that they may have done wrong. Some are convicted of what they were charged with and are sentenced to some sort of punishment.

Some of those charged put on an appearance of repentance, but in reality are ready to go out and do it again. They change on the outside, but in the heart have not changed at all. The purpose of the appearance is to get a lighter sentencing from the judge. As soon as they are free, they begin to go to their old crimes again.

God has a judgement against Judah because they saw what Israel had done wrong and how God punished her, yet, did not change their ways. Judah gave the appearance to follow God, but it was not with all of her heart and continued to worship false idols.

There are many believers who attend church every week, giving the appearance of following God. They can quote the scriptures very well and talk the talk, but their hearts are far from God. At home and other places they live in sinful lifestyles, purposefully sinning, with no mind to change.

When times get rough, they cry out to God for help and promise to follow better, but continue to live in sin. Worship of self and the things of this world take the priority in their lives, rather than allowing God to be on the heart’s throne. They know the truth but refuse to live it.

Every believer needs to be living for God with all that is within them. They are to seek God with all of their heart and allow Him to change them from the inside out.

Only you and God know where you stand with Him. Only you and God knows where your heart is at with Him.

Examine your life and see if you are following God with all of your heart, or if you are just following under pretense. Ask yourself what is really on the throne of your heart. Is it self and the things of this world, or is it God?

Serve God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Do not allow sin or this world a place in your heart, but only God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will serve God with all of your heart; that you will allow God to guide you in turning from all sin; and that you will be faithful to God as He is faithful to you. 

Isaiah 44:22 Redeemed…Now Return

Misty mountains

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you. Isaiah 44:22 

When a person purchases something, he expects to get it. The object purchased is expected to become his property and he is allowed to have it and do with it as he pleases.

Loans are often received with some object put up as collateral to ensure that the person will pay back the loan. As soon as he has made the last payment, the object that was put up for collateral is expected to be returned to him. It becomes his property again, because the full payment was made.

God is telling the people of Israel that He has paid the price for their sins and wiped them out. He had purchased their lives and now belonged to Him. Since they belonged to Him, they were to return to Him.

At the moment Jesus died upon the cross, He had paid the price for sin for every person, for all time. He bought back the people for God’s use.

Every person who has chosen to follow Jesus, has realized that he was redeemed, bought back. However, some have chosen to walk away from God in order to live in sin. They turned their backs on the redemption that Jesus had provided. Some of these fool themselves into thinking that they are following God, because they go to church, but in reality are living in sin, following the world and the devil.

God is telling these people to return to Him. Regardless of what sin a person does, God is right there willing to forgive and forget and move on. He wants every person for Himself. Because of what Jesus did, God owns the rights to every person.

If at some point in your life you have chosen to accept what Jesus did for you, you are redeemed. You were bought back at a price, the price of life. God owns you now.

Do not allow yourself to go back to the old life of sin and death. Don’t choose to give yourself back to the devil and reject the redemption Jesus has purchased for you.

If you have slipped back into a old sinful past way of living, turn around, reject sin and return to God. God is waiting for you with open arms, because you belong to Him, He has purchased your life.

I pray today that you will know the forgiveness Jesus offers; that you will know you are redeemed by God; that you will know you belong to God; and that you will live your life for God.

Isaiah 9:11 Refusing To Return

Walking back

But the people have not returned to him who struck them, nor have they sought the Lord Almighty. Isaiah 9:11 

When difficulties hit a person, they usually try to run a different direction away from what caused the problems. Rather than learn from the difficulties, they will try to avoid the situation altogether.

Most people do not like to face the reason why they had a problem. They want to ignore it and move on. Or they just want to blame everyone else for the problems that they are facing, rather than take responsibility in the part of it.

When they refuse to take responsibility, they will often return again and again to the situation. They will repeat what brought on the difficulty again, because they did not learn from it.

Isaiah describes the people as refusing to return to God, when they knew it was He who had struck them. They had refused to seek Him out in the situation. This continued to bring on God’s anger with them.

God commonly uses difficult situations to get the attention of His people, when they are refusing to listen or obey Him. He had to use a whale to get Jonah’s attention.

People are quick to walk away from God and refuse to listen or obey Him. When God brings on a difficult situation in their life, instead of returning to Him, they get mad at Him and run the other direction.

In every situation in a believer’s life, he should be seeking God for direction. God should be at the forefront of his mind and thoughts. This is even more true when a believer has messed up and stepped into sin. God is waiting for him to return to Him in repentance to start over again.

God does not wait to destroy, but waits to restore and build up.

There will be days when you make a mistake and fall into sin. Rather than stay there, turn to God for forgiveness. There will also be days when struggles come in mighty waves. In the same way turn to God for help and strength.

Seek to know what God wants you to learn in every difficult situation. Don’t get angry with God and run, but go to Him and learn. God will build you up, rather than just tear you to pieces and destroy you.

Put God first in every area of your life and see what God can do with you.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will run to God in every situation; that you will work to live for God; that you will trust God’s choices in your life; and that you willl allow God to build you up in Jesus.