Do you remember that TV Commercial “Help I have fallen and I can’t get back up.”
That is kind of what it is like when you have back-slidden. You get to the point that you are so deep in your sins that you don’t know how to get back to the Lord.
Another thing that really hammers at us these days is everything that is going on around us.
We have the crazy elections and the country being divided. Heck look at the parties, they themselves are being divided big time.
We have the horrible economy, wars going on all over the world and in the Middle East, whoa… that is time bomb just waiting to blow.. We have so many things that are pulling us one way or the other that we rarely have time for ourselves let alone having time for the Lord.
This where it is important that we start making the time, start forcing ourselves, otherwise we start to stagnate and we just have that “blah” feeling inside us.
We start asking God “ HEY GOD… Why can’t I feel our fellowship inside me? “
This is a tell tail sign that we need personal revival and we have come to the conclusion…
“ Help I have back-slidden and I can’t get back up. God, please help me.”
I think we have all been there. I know that I have and it is not a fun place to be. You feel the world on your shoulders and it feels like everything is caving in.
There is an old saying “ You can’t be saved until you realize you are first lost.”
The same kind of goes for when you are back-slidden and in need for personal revival. In fact it is more so because we are saved, we are children of God and He is our Savior. So we have that knowledge, but our flesh has taken over and instead of feeling and being children of God, we have become like pigs wallowing in the mud and slop.
So how can we stop? Well, you have to start looking at where you are and the sins you are committing. The starting point is there.
This can be a tough at times. It means looking at your life, considering your actions, reviewing the past and learning its true character. It also involves taking your individual sins one by one and looking at them.
I don’t mean that you should glance at your past Christian life, see that it’s full of sins, and then go to God making a sort of overall general confession and ask for his forgiveness. That’s not what I am talking about.
What we need to do is really get down and dirty honest with yourself and take each sin one by one and really examining yourself.
Starting Point – Get a pen and paper and as each sin comes to mind write it down. Go over them as carefully like a businessman would go over his accounts. Whenever a sin comes to mind, write it on the list. What we need to get in our head is that “general confession” of sin is just not good enough. Your sins were committed one by one and they should be reviewed and repented of one by one.
Last week we looked at “sins of omission” those are sins that we commit where we fail to do something or act.
This week we are going to look at sins of commission. These are sins that you actively do, actions we take.
Here are just some of the more “popular” ones that we tend to commit.
Pride / Vanity
- These are sins that I think all of us contend with.
- “How do I look?”
- “Look how great I am”
- “I am better than Bob is, why did they pick that looser?”
I am reminded over and over what Solomon said …
“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”
It is very easy to think that we are the end all to be all. We are the best at everything. Pride is one of the chief sins that Lucifer is guilty of.
Lucifer was so prideful that he thought that he could do better than God. Sometimes in our back-slidden state we may even think the same thing.
Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
It is the last of the Ten Commandments. Envy or covet, basically both are the same. You are not content with what you have and you always want more.
God blesses us daily with many things, even our very lives, still at times we look at Mr. & Mrs. Jones and say “Why can’t I be like the Jones? They have all the cool stuff.”
What many people do not realize is that the Jones are dead broke because they have all the cool stuff.
We need to focus on what God has given us and stop looking at others and what they have.
A Critical Spirit
“Why can’t Bob do things the way I do? Everyone knows that my way is the best way.”
What is a critical spirit? A “critical spirit,” is an obsessive attitude of criticism and fault-finding, which seeks to tear down others rather than build up.
I have to admit that this is one that I have fallen into at times.
People who have a critical spirit also tend to be controlling. If you are an “A” type personality, you most likely have problems in this area from time to time.
How I personally battle this is remember that God is in control and that He is working in that person’s life changing them from the inside out just like He is doing to me.
It is at these times that Proverbs 3:5-6 come into play and I try to meditate on it. Thus I am being less critical, knowing that God is in control and that I’m not.
Ever spoken behind people’s backs maybe because of their faults, problems or whatever? Commenting and fabricating lies about people is slander. Another thing it can be called is Gossip.
Proverbs 16:28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
Gossip and slander can literally kill a church. Gossip and slander is like a spark being blown by the wind and catching an entire field on fire. The fire spreads in seconds and burns acres down in a matter of minutes.
Believe me I have seen this in action many times. Where we live the winds are whipping through the area. It is amazing to see field fires that start just because someone tossed a cigarette butt out the window.
This is what gossip and slander will do in a church. Whip through it and burn it all down very quickly.
You are getting the idea on what I mean and the sins that we commit.
Here are some other quick examples…
- Lying / Cheating
- Robbing God
- Bad Temper
I know that I can fall into some of these and that is why it is important to do a self-examination so that we know where we are and do that important “check up from the neck up.”
It is so easy while in a back-slidden state that we think everything is honky dory, when in fact life is pretty bad.
Being in a back-slidden state is not a joyous, happy walk. We are depressed, the world is on our shoulders, we are grumpy more often than we are happy. We come home yell at the wife & kids, and just a general grump to be around.
So How Do We Fix It?
Confess to God the sins you have committed against God and to man the sins committed against man. Do not try to get off the hook by inventing excuses.
“Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you” – Hosea 10:12
That is such a great verse and when I read it, WOW did it make such sense.
As we know the Jews were a nation of mostly farmers and the scriptures often turn for illustrations to their occupations, scenes in which farmers and shepherds were commonplace.
When you read Hosea, he describes the Jews as a nation of backsliders. He accuses them of idolatry and threatens them with God’s judgement.
He told them that they need to repent of their sins and break up all that hard fallow ground that their hearts have become. Then when they have done that and seeked the Lord, God will come and cleanse (rain) righteousness upon them.
I am reminded of another verse that we all know.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
In breaking up your fallow ground it will help you remove every obstruction. Those obstructions are the sins in your life. By exposing them God can then help cleanse you of all your unrighteousness.
BUT here is key point. If you leave small matters / sins unattended, you will wonder why your Christian walk still remains powerless. Breaking up the fallow ground means you break up some of those larger dirt clods as well.
If you don’t your flesh and carnal mind has covered up something that God wants you to confess and remove.
Break up ALL the ground and turn it over. Don’t balk at the apparent size of the problem – drive the plough deep so that the ground will be fit to receive the seed and bear fruit “a hundredfold”.
I get emails from people that look up at me and think I am some great man of God and wish they can be like me.
Thing is that I am just another sinner who still blows it all the time. I am not perfect, in fact when I fall, I fall pretty hard.
In today’s world it is very hard to walk the Christian walk. It is a challenge and it is so easy to backslide than it is to stay on the straight and narrow.
This is one of the reasons why I have created what I call “The Servant Warrior.”
By being accountable to myself and to God it helps me maintain that straight and narrow walk.
AND when I do stumble and stray, because I do, then it is that accountability that I have to myself and to God that helps me get back to where I need to be.
When I am on that correct path, life just seems to be easier and I can deal with life’s troubles better. The mountains that we think are impassable become mole hills that we can easily navigate.
One thing that does help is when we are praying for each other. See the enemy does not like that and prayer is such a powerful tool.
I have told you that we know when people are praying for us. We are able to plow through life’s obstacles so much easier than when people are not praying for us.
Please keep us in your prayers. We need it more now than ever.
We have downsized to a smaller home, we are still working on getting the new site up and running and the gremlins are working overtime in both of these places.
So my patients has not been very patient, my temper not to cool, and it seems that we have not been able to catch a break in the last 30 days.
The enemy has really been hitting us hard from every direction that you can think of. So please pray and we will continue to pray for all of you.