Hosea writes to the people that it is time to “go back to God”. He is clear that getting into right relationship will “hurt” because for that to happen, sin has to go away and God has to cleanse. But he makes it clear it is very worth it. God is in the restoration business. He is all about making all things new. He wants to reconcile relationships, first with Himself and us, and then between us as humans in His world. God wants to make us “brand new”. I love how Hosea paints the picture of what we can look forward to if we only choose to look for it: “As sure as dawn breaks, so sure is his daily arrival”. I love the morning. It is the start of a new day and all things past have been put behind some hours of sleep. I know some on this string have been having struggles with sleep for a while. But even for those who aren’t getting a restful night right now, realize that God is there every morning. He will be there when we get up just like He was when we laid our head down the night before. God is not going anywhere. He is committed to us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He loves us. In fact – check out what Hosea records about that: “I’m after love that lasts, not more religion”. Love that lasts – now that is what God is seeking. He is not looking for the kind of love that has us holding our hand out when we want something or screaming for help when we are in trouble. He wants real love – relationship kind of love – where we love Him no matter what day after day. God is not interested in our religion. That doesn’t mean He doesn’t care if we go to church or get involved in a small group or bible study. That is not it at all. But He is far more interested in our heart than our outward appearance. He is concerned with who we are, not how we appear. God wants depth in our relationship. He goes on to define a couple things that are examples of what this means specifically:
1. Know God
2. More prayer
Do you know God? Do you know how to get to know Him? There is really only a couple ways. One is to read what He has written – His very Word – the Bible – and learn it. It is His love letter to us as Christ followers. Have you read it cover to cover? Have you really spent time trying to know God through the words He has written? That is key. But also we have to spend time with Him to really know Him. Not in the heat of our problems when we need something. But in the dailyness of life – to just talk with Him and be connected. He is there anyway so why not include Him. Prayer is the second area that is mentioned. That means we learn how to pray – adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication and intercession – the five things we should include as we pray to our Father. The Navigators have some great training on prayer – check it out on their website. They put these five characteristics of prayer on a hand illustration and it helps make it clear. But the reality is God wants a deep and lasting relationship with me and with YOU. Are you committed to the same with Him?