Thursday, September 11, 2014

{Hosea} SheReadsTruth

Maybe you know this.  I love Hosea.  It seems that the Lord always leads me to this book of the Bible in times that I most need it, but rarely recognize the need.  This time was no different.

{Do you ever do the devotionals on shereadstruth? You should.  It's so good.}

I have always loved how sweet the Lord is to pursue and cherish and redeem us. Over and over and over and over and over again.  But as I read the words of Hosea this time, and different scripture from the devotionals, I just ached and wept over my sin.  Over my lust and waywardness.  Over the idols that I pursue and cherish and love -- over and over and over and over again.

I've been praying for God to reveal my sin to me.  I've been pleading daily that He would show me the depth of my sin so I can see the magnitude of His forgiveness and grace.  Because, in all honesty, I'm not sure if I've ever seen myself as sinful and bad and disgusting as I really am.

As it turns out, I really love myself.  But be not confused: I don't love my body and I struggle daily with that.  I don't see my good features or fruit that the Lord is producing in me.  I just love me.  I really think I'm great and that other people should want to be like me and be around me and be me.  Ugh.  I hate writing that. My sin is awful.  And that's just the beginning.

I cherish idols.  Idols that don't seem like idols to you are huge barriers in seeking the face of God for me.  I've made idols out of my phone, working out, eating food, serving, being a mom and a wife...  It's just that I've turned good gifts from the Lord into carved images of worldly delight.  All at the cost of knowing more of Jesus.  All in the name of doing good.  All because I love the world more than I love Jesus.

Hosea was told to love and marry a harlot.  And he did.  He never gave up and he even bought his whore back into his life with the price you would have paid for a slave.  Hosea sought her and loved her and, even when it seemed hopeless, fought for his bride.

Does this sound familiar?

It's God.  That is what He did for me, for us.  He never gives up on His people. He paid for our ransom through the blood of Christ. He leads us into the wilderness to speak tenderly to us, to call us His own (Hosea 2).  Even when the world intices us and leads us astray, even when our idols stand tall and burdensome over us -- He doesn't walk away.

Hosea is a hard book.  The words can be harsh and they can open wounds of hurt. But the words are powerful and real and healing.  We see how it should have been for us.  We see the anger of God burning, righteously and jealously for his people.  We should be dead in our sin. (see Ephesians 2)  But GRACE prevailed.  We didn't get what our sin deserved because Jesus paved a better way, through His death on the cross.  Through amazing love.

So return. Over and over Hosea calls us to "return to the Lord".  He will heal us, He will come (Hosea 6).  Return, seek Him, break up your dry ground and let the Lord rain righteousness upon you (Hosea 10:12).  By the help of your God, return and wait. (Hosea 12:6). Return to Him.  He's waiting to heal your waywardness and love you freely (Hosea 14:4).

Don't miss Him -- the Provider of your good things, the Satisfier of your soul, the One who cares gently for you, the One you ushers you to repentance, the One who calls you to rest in Him, the One who is enough.

Return.  Repent.  Rest.  It's a beautiful mess, a worthy struggle, a daring adventure.  Be His. You are His one, true love...


She Reads Truth said...

Ashley, this is beautiful! Thank you so much for walking through Hosea with us and sharing your thoughts with us today! So glad we're in this together!

xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

jenny austin said...

Ahhhhh just beautiful and come to think about it I too have idols not bad ones like you said but idols just the same..... Thank you for your profound words......

Jeannie said...

Love your honesty dear friend!! You inspire me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ashley! Straight to the heart on those words. From your Oklahoma neighbor in Lawton. ~ tonya