Go Back to Where You Had It Last

Laura Singleton's picture

When my brother and I scrambled around looking for lost objects, my mom (like mothers around the globe) would say, "Go back to where you had it last." We'd trudge back to the kitchen and find our homework in the fridge next to the milk. Or we'd sheepishly discover our keys still in the front door lock. Or when we got to the porch, we'd remember that after the water fight we'd gone to the fort, where the missing shoe was waiting for us.

I think of this when I hear people say that they used to be so certain of God's calling or guidance, but they're going through a spiritual slump, and now they're doubting it. I think of mom's advice when I hear people who used to have vibrant relationships with God, but feel like He's distant and can't remember how to connect with Him. Her words come to mind when people get sin-sick and homesick, but can't remember how to get themselves out their mess.

Sometimes we make it harder than it is. When we forget how to be a Christ-follower, we can look back to times when we knew how. We can go back to where we had it last.

I had a professor who used to say "Don't doubt in the darkness what God told you in the light." If God made your calling clear when you were close to him, think back to your certainty. Remember, don't revise the plan. Go back to where you had it last, and borrow faith from your old self.

When you're spiritually stale and miss your old relationship with God, think back. What were you doing differently? Has busyness crowded out your time for Christian community? Have you neglected your prayerful walks in the woods? Did the transition from written Bible to your Bible app kill your time in the Word? Retrace your steps to diagnose what happened. Go back to where you had it last, and discover the spiritual practices that are vital to you.

Maybe you've gotten to the point where sin that looked shiny in the showroom turned out to be more costly and dangerous that you expected. You feel ashamed, or stupid, or unforgivable. But Scripture points to the Gospel: "Go back to where you had it last." The grace that saved you then is the grace that rescues you now.

God's not lost. Your intimacy with Him isn't gone forever. Go back, and find Him waiting. 

Comments

Thank you for this beautiful advice! I needed it because I am in such a spot at the moment. I used to feel very connected to God but somewhere during the past 5 years I lost that feeling, I lost any relationship to God. Lately I felt like I want to find Him again. I haven't been struck by any tragedy, or illness, I'm actually in a good moment of my life, so this feeling was...weird at first, I didn't know what I should do. I felt like I didn't know how or where to start, I'm still not sure I do. I truly want to take on your advice and "go back to where I last had it". Maybe I will find the reason why I lost my faith in the first place and it will make my journey easier.

Laura Singleton's picture

Oh, Julia--thank you so much for letting me know about God's working! You didn't mention whether you're relationship was built on a saving faith in Jesus Christ, but I'm first going to assume that you're a believer while I say this: I think one of the most moving displays of His grace is how He pursues us, woos us, invites us back into fellowship with Him when we're apathetic about Him. It's quieter than "I've hit rock bottom" stories of His grace, yet for many believers, it can be just as life changing. It's breathtaking to marinate over these truths: If you are a Christ-follower, over the last five years, the Father's love for you has never cooled. These five years has not lessened Christ's advocacy of you. In the past five years, the Holy Spirit has not stopped working in and through and for you. I've been where you are, and my apathy (like any rebellion) meant that I missed out on some of what God wanted for me. However, His love is active, and initiating, and more powerful than indifference, whether mine or yours. 

So, sister--I encourage you to respond to His invitation! Dive in with all you've got (yes, I'm mixing metaphors. That's how eager I am for you to experience what He has for you!)

Now, back to my assumption. If the closeness you previously felt was based on a general feeling of goodwill towards God, what you may be sensign now (and perhaps 5 years ago) may be God's invitation to a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, as He explains in the Bible. Email me and let me know if you haven't ever come to this initial faith!

I'm praying for you! Let me know your progress =)

Laura

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