Flipping the Faith Switch by Andrea Chatelain

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” Acts 3:19 NIV.

One Nebraska winter I left my succulents out overnight. I’ll never do that again. They froze up in the harsh cold and no amount of heat from the hairdryer would help. So as temps dropped this year, I did what my grandma taught me. Bring them in and set them under the heat lamp. The only problem is, sometimes I forget to flip the switch. Sure the poky plants will survive. They still have a bit of window light. But they’re so much healthier if they soak up their full dose. Who knew I had so much in common with plants?

Here I am in the frigid February wanting to stick my head under that light too. I’m cold and tired and sometimes weary from the weight of all my sin. I want to grow new limbs of love and delight, but sometimes I forget how to flip my faith switch. I lift it halfway in repentance and turn it back down wondering if God really loves and forgives me.

That’s why I love today’s verse. Peter’s talking to some who took part in the crucifixion. They perhaps stood there mocking Jesus or spat on Him as He carried His cross on His back. They were beyond guilty. They’d helped kill the Messiah. And yet, Peter, one who Jesus commissioned to build the church, started by offering forgiveness to the seemingly unforgivable.

Peter said, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” Acts 3:19 NIV.

Those words transcend time and echo to you and me. He’s saying, turn away from the junk you know you need forgiveness for, but don’t stop there. The next step is even more important. Turn to God. That’s where the refreshing of our souls comes from. As we focus on Him, accept His love and forgiveness, and surrender daily to Him, that’s how we go from death to life.

Where do you feel yourself holding back from God? Like my little plants, setting yourself under His power through faith is so good. But don’t forget to switch on the light. Turn to the One who loves you, he’s not disappointed in your shortcomings or sin. He’s ready to sustain you with His power through the harshest seasons as you come to Him in faith. 

Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She's a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer at Glory-be.org, writer/speaker for WhollyLoved Ministries, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She loves connecting with women to remind them they can find everything they need in Jesus. Connect with Andrea on Instagram and Facebook.