People still live in exile today. Some, persecuted for their faith, are forced to sneak out of the country in which they live. Others are shamed into leaving because they do not measure up to society’s standards.
But people are also living in spiritual exile. They have separated themselves from God for one reason or another. Perhaps it is out of shame or anger. Maybe they cannot see God as a loving Father because theirs was anything but that. Or they do not feel they could ever be good enough to pray to Him.
One of my wise professors insisted that people have poor self-images because they have an even poorer image of God. They don’t grasp how wide and deep His love is. I recall a bumper sticker stating, “If God is not in your life, guess who moved?” The implication was — we did.
God cannot be in the presence of sin, but that doesn't mean He has pushed us away. He sent Jesus, His Son, to take on our sins so that, by His death, we can be released from its shackles.
We can return to His arms and be embraced. All we need to do is turn wholeheartedly to Him, and ask for forgiveness. He will receive us back just as the Father welcomed the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32.
If you feel exiled from God right now, come on home. God is waiting with open arms.
Dear God, let me never back away from your mercy and grace. Let me be ready to confess my sins so I can once again enjoy your presence and receive your blessings. I desperately need you in my life. Amen.
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Photo Credit: Natalia Y