By Olea Gough

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As we seek the Lord more faithfully, He will speak to us.

In the book of Hosea, we are told the story of Gomer. She is an unfaithful bride to Hosea. She is constantly leaving to return to the arms of her other lovers, but he remains perfectly faithful. He tries to entice her with a myriad of wonderful things, but it is never enough to keep her. And even though she is not faithful and does not appreciate all the things he does for her, Hosea will still renew His covenant with her when she finally returns ready for the commitment. In this parable, Hosea is the Lord and Gomer represents His people.

We are not as faithful as we ought to be. We do not have idols carved from stone or molten out of precious metals as the children of Israel did, but we have our own comforts and distractions, things that take our hearts and minds away from Him. We have to watch ourselves just like they did. We have to be mindful of those things that keep us from being perfectly faithful to the Lord. We have to repent and turn back every time we find ourselves stepping away or wandering.

I have thought about some of the enticements in our day:

  • Entertainment: We long to be entertained. It might be TV shows, movies, hobbies, music or even sports. If these things are not monitored or kept in balance, we can be enticed to put more energy into them than into our relationship with the Lord. The quality, or lack thereof, that we indulge ourselves in can affect our thoughts and our choices in profound ways without us even realizing it. We must be mindful of what we allow to entertain us.
  • Social Media: We have new voices in our age that we call “influencers.” Some of them are voices that will help us understand the Lord and His teachings better, helping us to draw closer to Him, but many of them will encourage us to be more selfish with our time or doubtful of the Lord and His love in their monologues. We must be mindful who we are listing to and whether they are drawing us closer to or farther away from the Lord.
  • Selfishness: Self-care is important if used thoughtfully and in moderation as a way of renewal. However, there is a fine line between self-care and selfishness. We know that it is in the service of others that we serve the Lord. Serving our families in an attitude of joy, sacrifice and consecration is one of the most important ways we serve. We know that it is in spending time with God that we are truly renewed. It is easy to fall into the trap of believing time alone or away from our families will bring us real joy when the Lord has told us joy comes from loving Him and loving others. We absolutely do need to take care of our minds, bodies and spirits. They are our stewardship from God. We do need to spend time exercising, refueling our bodies with proper nutrition, learning from the best books (and podcasts), listening to uplifting music, pondering in spaces of silence (even if this is only in the bathroom when our kids are little), talking to ourselves kindly and being patient with our learning, connecting with God and with people who help us remember our worth. We do need to take a little time to unwind and rest, we just need to be mindful that this time does not become excessive or an excuse to not do those things that help us draw closer to the Lord or a rationale to avoid the good works He wants to see us engaged in. We must examine our needs and what activities truly do help us reset, renew and recenter on Christ.

These are just three that popped into my mind as I thought about how we might be like the children of Israel in not having complete fidelity to the Lord. I am sure there are many others. The distractions and enticements in each or our lives will be unique and individual. One of the most important things we can do is examine our own time and hearts and ask the Lord where we need to make adjustments so we can be more faithful to Him.

When we are baptized, we covenant to be His. In return we receive from Him the most wonderful gift, the gift of the Holy Ghost. And the more faithful we are to Him and our covenant with Him, the better we get at using this gift. The more mindful we become of those things that draw us away from the Lord, the better we get at staying close to Him allowing us to “hear Him.” Through this gift He can inspire us with ideas, guide our decisions, comfort us when we are overwhelmed or hurting, cleanse us of guilt after we have repented (turned back to Him after recognition of falling short), teach us about His nature, our true identity, His doctrine, and our potential. Through the Holy Ghost, He can help us better understand our needs and how to fulfill them in ways that are most effective. The world tries to replicate all these things, but only the Holy Ghost can do it in the Lord’s way, with His truth. He wants to talk to us. He wants to strengthen us. He wants to help us. But He will never infringe on our agency. For this loving gift of the Holy Ghost to work best, we must seek the Lord. We must show Him that we are faithful to Him. We must learn to listen. We must provide a space of silence where He can be heard. Mostly, we must show that we have a desire to hear Him and then put the effort in to learn as He teaches us how, because He will.

The Primary Manual for Come Follow Me is perfect for families with young children!

November week 2: November 7–13. Hosea 1–6; 10–14; Joel: “I Will Love Them Freely” (churchofjesuschrist.org)

Click below to download these FREE coloring pages from Rising Moon Adventures that I created to go with this lesson:

Primary Insights for Come Follow Me videos –

(46) Rising Moon Adventures Scripture Story Time – YouTube

Song 1: Back to God by Reba McEntire with Lauren Daigle

Song 2: Our God by Chris Tomlin

Find more ANCHORING IN CHRIST.

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