God gives us a wonderful promise through the prophet Zephaniah, when he prophecies, “At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes..” (Zeph 4:20). Do you sense a restlessness deep in your soul, in that place within you that cannot be reached by your understanding and effort? Is there a kind of homesickness that makes you a pilgrim looking for a place of security, trust and acceptance? Ever since the garden, when Adam and Eve were banished from the garden, there has been a homesickness in the soul of each of us.
The tendency for men is to go in search of security and acceptance outside themselves. But home, that place of acceptance, security and rest is f0und within, at the center, in a soulful life. You don’t find home, but rather it finds you, as you are willing to pay attention to what your soul is saying to you. Listen to Jesus’ promise: “I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them” (John 17:26). Notice the preposition “in.” Jesus assures us that the same love he experienced with the Father and his very presence would be “in” us. So men, don’t go searching for security, acceptance and safety outside yourself. The love of the Father is at the center manifested in Jesus.
Remember the story of the Prodigal Son. We read, “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself” (Luke 15:17). In other words, he got stopped in his tracks and came to an inner awareness that things were going in the wrong direction. He decided to turn around and come home. Likewise we can have the same conversion with ourselves, in deciding to come home. You discern Jesus waits at the center for us. You come to our senses, by listening to the inner voice of his spirit calling us home. The difficulty will be our willingness to listen to the urgings of our soul.
I can give testimony to this reality in my life. I lived a lot of years on the surface. I tried hard to be good and worked at finding my way back, after all I was “a professional holy man.” But I never felt like I was home, in that place of acceptance and rest. I must say to any man who is reading this blog and is adrift, away from home, the way back involves trust. There is no other way. You will have to let go of the controls and as it were “be led by the hand.” You simply will not be able to find your way back by means of your “spiritual projects” not matter how sincere. Like me, you will have to be tired of your start and stop efforts, and simply yield to the inner voice of the Spirit
The outer voice, heard through reading of Scriptures, preaching, teaching and fellowship will stimulate the awareness of the inner voice. Revelation 3:20 becomes very relevant at this point. “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you.” I assure you that God’s love for you is persistent. Augustine observed, “You were within, but I was without. You were with me, but I was not with you. So you called, you shouted, you broke through my deafness, you flared, and banished my blindness, you lavished your fragrance and I gasped.” When you dare risk in trusting the inner voice, you will not be disappointed. The struggle will be in your letting go of the controls and the need to understand the process.
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