I can’t think of a worse place to be than in a backslidden state; to know Jesus and then try to hide from Him.
It is folly to think we, His children, could hide from Him. He promised He would never leave us. Seriously, it is impossible to not be in His sight.
But that doesn’t stop us from trying, does it?
A few years ago I was foolish enough to try hiding from Him. When it seemed everything in my life was coming undone; I grew weary and began to rely on myself instead of trusting Him. In disobedience, I made one bad decision after another. I was on a slippery slope and boy was I sliding back fast. What a mess I made!
You see, that’s what happens when we give in to “thoughts” and emotions. The enemy uses our injuries to drown out the voice of God and then we find ourselves in a dark place, believing lies, and hiding from the truth.
I was once like Peter. Remember when everyone was running from Jesus and He turned to His disciples and asked them, “Will you also go away? Do you too desire to leave Me?” And Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!”
After we have tasted and seen that God is good, it is a bitter pill in our bellies when we walk away.
I had mistaken conviction for condemnation. I was living in fear and depression. I opened myself up for all kinds of demonic attacks. Because of my injuries, I injured others and there was nothing I could do in my own strength (or cleverness) to stop it. God’s love for me allowed me to come to the end of myself.
I do not recommend backsliding. But, if you are already there, if your feet have already begun to go in the wrong direction, stop! You can turn around now. You do not have to be afraid or think you have committed the unpardonable sin. God is not angry with you, He is for you, not against you.
He loves us enough to give us a free will to choose. It is not His will or purpose for us that we should be in a position of injury; it is by our own choice.
Even though Peter was so confident he would never leave Jesus; he did. The same Peter who said he would die for Jesus still denied Him; not once, but three times!
Did Jesus stop loving him? No! Did Jesus know Peter was going to deny Him? Yes!
We can learn much through Peter about the love of Christ.
Can you imagine for a moment? Peter walked with Jesus His entire ministry; side by side with God. He witnessed the miraculous! He watched Jesus heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead! Peter walked on water with Jesus. Now you would think there could never be a way for Peter to deny Jesus, but he did.
Before we can come down so hard on Peter and naively declare, “Well! I would never deny Jesus after seeing all He had done;” take an inventory of how many times God has answered our prayers and still there have been times of doubt in our own mind.
Peter was broken. Strong, boisterous, quick to speak, Peter, was broken. But he didn’t stay broken. He grieved, repented, was forgiven, and then was used mighty by God.
I had finally come to the end of myself. I was so low the only way to go was up.
One night I was awakened by a clear voice, “Romans 8:28.” I tuned on the light, grabbed my Bible and read:
And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.
In brokenness and repentance I cried out to God and in mercy and love He answered. This was the beginning of my restoration. There are no surprises with God, He knows it all, He knows our coming and going, our sitting and standing. Where can we go that He is not already there? (Psalm 139)
Where could I go from Your Spirit?
Or where could I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
Psalm 139: 7-14
Beloved, where are you? Are you ready to lay down the guilt and shame? No matter what you have done, there is no sin greater than His forgiveness. Confess your sin, He knows it anyway, repent and turn back to Him. This is the Father’s heart; to leave the 99 and go after the one lost sheep.
There is no condemnation for those who are in Him. His forgiveness is available; His love is without measure, unfailing, and never ending.
Search me, Father, know my heart and renew a right spirit within me. I confess my sins to You and I thank You for Your forgiveness. Fill me, God, with Your Spirit and steady my feet on Your straight path so that I will not stray away again. Hedge me in so I will know Your borders and boundaries. Thank You for working in me for the good and for Your glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.
And He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:48
Be Free & Stay Free