In our weekly Bible study, we are currently studying the fall of Jerusalem because the people turned their backs on God — instead of worshiping the Lord, they worshipped idols. Now in captivity in Babylon, the people and the prophet Jeremiah are lamenting the devastation of their beloved city at the hands of the Babylonians. In our modern time, as we discussed yesterday, idolatry can take many forms; and the key to see what we are putting before the Lord is in how we spend our time. Jeremiah had a practical solution – self-examination and repentance: Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven:” (Lamentations 3:40-41)

What if you could follow yourself around for the day, carefully examining all that you do? Look at your schedule–your choice of activities, the people you talk to, the things you listen to and watch, the habits being formed, the thoughts you think. Maybe your heart desires intimacy with God, but a real day in your life leaves no time for solitude. God often speaks to us in the stillness and silent spaces. How will we hear Him if we’re never still?

Taking time to reflect, to think, and to examine oneself is a necessary step in moving toward intimacy with God. Before we can turn back to Him, we must repent of the things that moved us away from Him in the first place As we set aside time for solitude and reflection, the Holy Spirit will gently show us these things if we ask. He will show us the sins we need to confess and give us the grace of repentance. Experiencing forgiveness, our fellowship with our heavenly Father is restored.

Lord, help me to still myself before You and be willing to examine my ways. Speak to me through Your Holy Spirit of what is wrong in my life. Give me the gift of repentance and allow me to enjoy the sweetness of Your forgiveness.

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