As I waited on the Lord this morning I began to hear many voices speaking words of regrets. These were voices of believers and yet their words and thoughts began with the phrase, “If only I had…..”
Regrets were in the forefront of their minds as they stopped to get silent and pray. These regrets caused them to want to stay busy, because stopping long enough to quiet their souls often brought forth flood of regrets and thoughts of “If only…”
If only I had…
• been a more patient parent
• been a more loving spouse
• been more generous
• been more loving
• been more faithful
• been a better friend
…and the list goes on
Yet if we stop long enough for the soul to finish its laundry list of regrets, then we will find that at the end the Spirit of the Lord will come with a new list; a list of restoration.
• a perfect Father who is patient with you.
• a passionate Bridegroom who sees only your beauty.
• a generous Father who holds nothing back from you.
• a loving God who gave His all for you.
• a ever present helper in your times of need.
• a faithful friend
…and the list goes on
For all that we lack He is our “more than enough”. There is no regrets in Christ, only restoration.He makes all things new.
In repentance we find change and a holy exchange, where we begin to reap blessing that which we did not sow. God changes us and forgives and forgets our iniquities. Our “If Only” is exchanged for His “I AM”. Regrets are washed away by the flood of restoration.
As a parent I never want my children to live in regrets that cause their nights great sorrow. I only desire that they experience the beautiful gift of repentance that washes away stains, gives them a fresh start and a clean slate, and renews them with expectations of joy. This is the heart of God toward His children.
When Peter denied Jesus three times the Bible says that “he wept bitterly.” He came to the end of himself. His soul was filled with regret. As Peter’s regrets turned to repentance, we discover that Jesus’ response upon seeing Peter after His resurrection is to restore him. He first fills his nets with fish, then He cooks him breakfast, and finally He asks Peter three questions that all begin with,
“Do you love me?”
Peter’s answer of “Yes” was his restoration of relationship that repositioned him out of self and into Christ.
This is a picture of what the Lord is doing for His people even now. Many, like Peter, have come to the end of themselves. Some have even denied Him during the dark night of their souls. Yet, after a night of weeping and sorrows…joy comes in the morning. Our God has cooked us breakfast and set a banqueting table before us. He brings us into a new day and asks us the question that restores,
“Do you love me?”
We answer,“YES! YES! YES! You know we love you!”
We now can move from regrets and repentance to restoration and renewed relationship. We can feed His sheep because it is no longer we that live but Christ who lives within us (Galatians 2:19-21).
Today is a new day and our Savior has made breakfast for His disciples once again. Sit down and eat with Him today. The night is over and “Christ in you” has begun.
The Lord led me to read out of 1 Kings 18. This chapter tells the story of when the prophets of Baal challenged Elijah as to "who is God?"; Baal or the God of Elijah. They both set up offerings and then called on their Gods to send fire upon the altar.
As I recounted how Elijah made his altar impossible to be consumed by fire (by pouring water on it, putting water trenches around it, etc) I thought of all the "impossibilities" that are even now upon many of the lives of God's people. Maybe we are in a time that God will prove Himself to every false god and false prophet.
The prophets of Baal shouted to their god, they cut themselves until blood gushed out, they pounded their chests and yet their god did nothing. But Elijah drenched his offering with water and then prayed this prayer,
"O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. O LORD, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”
Then after his prayer, fire fell and consumed his offering