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Come HomeMuana

By Lal Thla Muana

September 2013


In our postmodern world of sophistication and skepticism, we are wise to put first things first so that we do not drift away from the real enjoyment of life. Many people choose to live with uncertainty trying to enjoy short-sighted happiness without having real joy.


Throughout history God has heard every question imaginable. The Lord God Almighty is not threatened by any question. It seems that He actually wants us to ask questions.


God has also used questions to guide humans into truth and life found only in his grace. There are two questions, in particular, that illuminate the ultimate life issues. One is theological and the other is social.

  • “Where are you?” addressed to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:9, and
  • “Where is your brother?” addressed to Cain in Genesis 4:9.


God longs to develop a rich and close relationship with us. At the same time, He honors us with the freedom to choose whether to love God or try to live apart from Him.


Why did God ask, “Where are you?” It was not because Adam and Eve had hidden so well. God is omniscient, and the question was for the sake of those created not the Creator. God wanted them to realize at least two things: 1.) They were hiding from the Source of life, and 2.) God was seeking them in order to restore them in fellowship with their Father. God was inviting them to come home. The proper home of Adam and Eve (and ours as well) is God. Our life, hope, rest, health, meaning, security, joy and purpose are all found in the fellowship of the Father.


Our loving Father wants all people to attain the reality of life and enjoy His presence forever. In Psalm 16:11 (KKJV) the psalmist says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy.” Only in God can we find true joy.


Nothing can be more important than our relationship with our heavenly Father. Yet rightly relating to God, knowing Him intimately, trusting and following Him obediently, does not promise a life void of problems. We are, however, promised ways to get through, solve, conquer or endure those problems.


It is in living relationship with God that humans can find real freedom. Jesus says, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Abraham Lincoln, the great American liberator, thought of freedom not as the right to do what we want, but the power to do what we ought. Author Selwyn Hughes encouraged listeners to trust the choices that God makes, which are always in our best interests.


Rightly we are never truly free until we submit to the purposes of God. It is in God that the thirsty soul is quenched, and the restless soul finds rest. The good news for all prodigals, hiding from God, is that He still asks, “Where are you?”


My brothers and sisters, please examine yourself to see if there is a distance between you and God. He is waiting for our return. In fact it is not rebellion or disobedience that causes sin, but distrust.


Our loving Father has another question for us. God calls us to be responsible and responsive disciples, people that are open to God and open to one another. Here is the catch. We are responsible as we stay responsive to God. We provide the willingness; God provides the power.


This is one reason that God asks, “Where is your brother?” The reality of Christianity is brilliantly highlighted when the family of God takes care those in need. One of the best ways of demonstrating our love to God and to others is unconditional selfless service. Selwyn Hughes said, “The Bible knows nothing of a spiritual salvation divorced from social issues or social justice.” Another sage commented, “Nothing is real until it is experienced.”


My brothers and sisters, listen closely to God’s questions. “Where are you?” and “Where is your brother or sister?” Let us remember who we are, where we are, and how we should live as members of the household of faith. Let us now shout the reality of God’s love and our faith through our words and deeds.


Lal Thla Muana believes transformational Christian ministry is the main task of the church. Muana has served as the area superintendent of the Methodist Church in Myanmar (Burma), the principal at the Myanmar Theological College, and the president of the University Christian Fellowship in Mandalay. Dr. Muana also coordinates the publication of a devotional guide similar to Our Daily Bread. 


A Word From James

Every question is a statement. A wife sees her husband leaving the house and asks, “Is that what you are wearing to work?” Listen carefully to the words of Brother Muana. He lives in a place where there are many questions about God and faith. What is life like where you live? Pray for me as I pray for you. Is there some way FollowOne can help you, your children and your church take new steps in response to God’s call to serve lost and hurting people?  


Cruciform Music — This Month's Featured Song

This month’s featured song is We Will Shine by Matt Papa. Watch and listen here.


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