If Only

This is what the Lord says- Your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isa. 48:17-18)

“If Only… you had paid attention to My Commands!”

These words echo in the heart of those who live with regrets. We have all found ourselves off track to some degree… with strange perceptions, bad choices and wasted opportunities. Many times in our self-absorbed lifestyles, we think that we are doing the right thing or going in the right direction only to find out that we have been wrong. We hit the wall or reach the end of the rope and cannot find our way out. Some have so damaged their future that recovery would require a miracle. Life is not something we should guess at or rush into, but problems are often the high price we pay for trying to please everyone around us. Perhaps you have felt the shame and embarrassment that follows these words… “if only I had paid attention” to God.

Losing Peace:

God has given us all that we need for life and godliness in His Word and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:2-4). He knows what is best for us and He desires to teach us those things, because He loves us. Unfortunately we sometimes refuse what God teaches us and insist on doing our own thing. When we do this, we eventually find that we have lost our peace and our life gets full of unnecessary problems and difficulties.

God is Gracious:

God will not leave us in our confusion if we are willing to return and recover what has been lost. His arms are always open for us and He is always waiting for our return. Although we hear within our soulish man, “If only you had listened”, God does not leave us in defeat if we will come to Him in faith. We often beat ourselves up with the “if only’s”. If only we had not done this or if only we had done that instead. But in spite of what we have done, there is hope in God!

God holds out a wealth of righteousness… His Mercy, invites us into a fresh peace that flows like a river and washes over us like the waves of the sea.

Shifting the Focus:

We cannot change the past, but we can shift the focus and live beyond the regrets of the past. Jesus tells us, “YOU ARE FORGIVEN!”. This changes everything inside of us, when we know we are free of the past, free of the guilt and free of the entanglements. The chains that have held us fall lifelessly to the floor, so we can begin anew. We can begin today with the right choices and listen to God’s instructions for Kingdom life. We can begin now with fresh perspective and limitless possibilities. In return God will cause us to walk in the righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).

Life to the Fullest:

Have you gotten off track and done your own thing only to find that you have lost your peace and brought unnecessary problems into your life? Take ownership of your future and shift the focus… living beyond your regrets is a matter of choosing who gets to speak into your heart. God’s invitation is not to control you, but to free you to enjoy life to the fullest.

The key is to hear His heart: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you.”

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