Recently, I was visiting my mom, who read me the following quote from a devotion she has, written by the faithful Puritans of the past, and it really stuck out to me:
“Your sins shall never provoke Christ to give you a bill of divorce. They may provoke Him to frown upon you, chide you, correct you, but they will never provoke Christ to give you a bill of divorce.” Thomas Brooks
As I pondered this quote, the truth of it resounded more and more clearly in my soul. The analogy of a divorce is one that rings true to our lack of commitment in our relationships with the Lord. “…if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13
For it is Christ Himself who said, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.” Matthew 19:8 Jesus does not believe in divorce. He’s not a fan. His heart is grieved by it just as much in our relationship with Him as with one another. He made our relationships on earth to reflect our relationship with Him…and He intended from the beginning that they would be steadfast, immovable, and committed until “death do us part”.
Christ will never let go of us, give up, or send us away. Even when we have sinned, and we think we cannot possibly return to God, for surely He has given up on us and, essentially, “divorced” us…even then, it is we ourselves who are doing the excluding. Christ has shown us His heart in this matter yet again, when He said, “Return, faithless Israel, declares the Lord. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the Lord; I will not be angry forever.” Jeremiah 3:11
WE are the ones who do the wandering, as God waits patiently, hoping — longing — for our return. We get tired of God’s ways, and begin to wander after other “loves”. We decide we’ve had enough, and that we don’t want to hold fast to our commitment. We start looking for loopholes in our commitment, and start looking for a “divorce”.
“But I have this against you, that YOU have abandoned the love you had at first.” Revelation 2:4
If we have a broken relationship with God, it is not God’s fault. It is because of our own hardness toward God, and our own lack of commitment and love. But God has made the simplest way imaginable for us to return and be reconciled again, if we have wandered or sinned! It is as simple as turning back, repenting for our sins and our wandering hearts, and learning to DELIGHT in Him again (see our post: The Delight Challenge), as a new bride delights in the husband of her heart! Then you will find your relationship with God restored, the weight of sin and the loneliness of separation from Him removed, as well as the joy of first love again flooding your heart! It is never too late to return, because Jesus remains faithful even when we are faithless, and stubborn. He is SO good!