Saved by grace through faith is a fantastic and perpetual outcome. There is no permanent separation from God. Though through our negligence at one time or another sin takes a higher ground in our life, the Lord will eventually turn our lives around for His glory. For when He has bought us with a ransom and brought us forth through fire He does not let His hard work go waste. The consequences He allows in our life – since He is holy and just, and sin cannot be left hidden or go unpunished – will teach us of His intent toward us as well as remind us of His purpose to us. This in turn reveals to us the kind of love with which He loved us and His extreme eagerness for us.
When the Lord revisits us for His namesake (for only for His namesake that He redeems, forgives and restores us and not because of our doings), there is great joy as well as tears. For every sin we commit the Lord has a plan to bring us out of it. Its measure depends on His judgment. Consequences play a pivotal role in the Lord taking us back under His wings. Sometimes they may be minimal and at other times otherwise. Though this begins with our imploring heart, it much more depends on His mercy. The guilt of sin and the pressure of the consequences compel us to return to Him; for then we retrieve the knowledge we earlier acquired concerning Him. As we put all our thoughts, desires, intentions and fears before Him, He visits us so that we are able to stand again. The effect of that visit can be related to the following. “So that the people could not distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far away” (Ezra 3:13).
We weep because of what we have neglected and perhaps also lost during the course of our disobedience. Yet, we rejoice fully, since we are able to witness again that which we thought we would not see. The first experience we had with God concerning salvation, gifts, etc is always memorable and is second to none. The latter experience we have with Him tells us that He never forsakes us. Hence, we weep as well as rejoice. In the case of Israel, the younger generation quickly rejoiced at the re-laying of the temple’s foundation, as it was their first experience regarding God. They have only heard of the earlier foundation through sayings. As for the older generation they first wept, though they latter rejoiced. It was because they wished it had not been this way. Yet, their weeping was covered and overcome by the loud shouts of joy so that there was only the joyous sound heard and not weeping. This is exactly how it happens in us when God revisits us in our repentance to our disobedience. Joy supersedes our weeping. And we recover all things through the mercy and power of God. He gives glory and honor along with all the blessings He promised us. He may use different ways, but they are always holy and righteous so that none can put forth an accusation.
There is a remarkable effect that takes place after God revisits us. David explains it. “But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared” (Ps. 130:4). God forgives us not only because He loves us and wants the best for us, but also since He knows the kind of reaction it produces in us. As He restored us while on the brink, we take to heart not to disobey Him again in the manner we did. This fear seeps into every area of our life, because we vow to be much more careful. That fear becomes the super catalyst to acquire God’s wisdom for the furthering of our faith and righteousness. Then, we are no longer weak, but become much stronger to handle the things God allotted to us. We hate sin to the utmost; we despise it. And it is all the result of being saved by grace through faith alone. Does God know we will be tempted? Does He know if we fall? Has He equipped us do fend off temptation? The answer is yes to all when saved by grace through faith. For He is so just that He allows us to exercise the heavenly armor He gifted us. And yet, when we fail in doing it, He knows exactly how to work with us. He knows He can make us stronger and wiser than before which only results in His glory. He has already seen it. Satan can only wonder!
So, if you need to obey God, it is the right time to return to Him. He will redeem you, make you much stronger, empower you in His Spirit, recover all you have lost and use you. He has you exactly where He wants you to be so that He can rejoice in you. Don’t worry about the consequences; the pivotal factor is returning to Him. You have no idea as to how well He can control them and what He can do for you even beyond them. You will be surprised! You will love Him more than ever.