There are times when we pick up a bad attitude towards God. This usually happens when we feel that God isn’t listening to us. We think He’s ignoring us. There was a time in Israel that the people felt the same way.
After they returned from captivity in Babylon, the prophet Malachi was sent with a message from God. Listen to the exchange.
“I have loved you,” says the Lord.
“But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’”
God gets right down to the basics. It’s all about His love for us. He loves us with an everlasting love.
That love is also a tough love. It’s like a parent who will not let their child touch a hot stove. The Bible clearly teaches that discipline flows out of the Father’s love. That’s usually when we get upset.
In the face of God’s love, the people respond with, “How have you loved us?” It’s a slap in God’s face. They’re saying, “Prove it, God.” It implies that they see no evidence of God’s love.
Why this attitude. It could be because they had just returned from Babylon. Their fields were overgrown. They were surrounded by their enemies. The temple they worshipped in was vastly inferior to the one Solomon built.
“Look at what’s happening to me, God. How can You possibly say that you love me.”
The thing is, we do this all the time in our attitudes. Here’s what they didn’t understand. The condition they found themselves in was because of their sin. It got so bad that they were captured and taken from their homeland.
Now they’ve repented. They’ve turned away from the false gods and were brought back to the land of promise. This is where the attitude springs up.
“Lord I repented, why aren’t things like they were before?”
This is what we need to learn as well. Repentance does not equal restoration. How do you get restoration?
Look at it this way. Spiritually speaking, you spent years planting weeds. Now your life is growing nothing but dandelions and chicory. You see the error of your ways and you repent. Immediately you want God to turn all your weeds into porterhouse steaks! I can tell you from the Word of God, and my own experience – it rarely ever happens that way.
What do you need to do? You dig up the weeds, plant new seed, and wait for the new harvest. Yes, you can trust God for an abundant harvest; and even a quick harvest. But there will still be a period of waiting for the blessings to appear.
Repentance and restoration. They go hand in hand. It’s just that restoration sometimes takes a little longer than we want it to. I repent and replant. Then I remember to keep my attitudes pure as I wait on the Lord to restore what was lost.
Question: What has the Lord restored in your life? How long did it take?
© Nick Zaccardi 2014