Lately, I am reminded of my worthlessness outside of Christ. My past likes to haunt me. God allows it, and I believe one of those reasons is so that I would fall at His feet in worship.
Worship has been a ready practice these days. It seems a day does not pass, wherein I do not do so. Oh, how worthy He is!
I know I do not deserve this life He gives me. I deserve nothing. I know all I have is by His grace, His mercy, and His pity upon me.
You know, being an obvious backslider for any length of time, brings much reproach upon Christ's name. It brings intense, soul-deep grief. Even after repenting under the loving chastisement of my Heavenly Father, the sorrow over the wasted years, wasted everything; the humiliation over giving the enemy cause to blaspheme God's name; the utter disgust over the committed sins... Still come and go in my heart.
Yet, I also am incredibly humbled over the love and intervention of God! When I see how He prevented me from total waste; when I see how He kept me from utter destruction; when I see how He let me go only so far; when I see how He uses my failures to spotlight His triumphs... How can I NOT wash His feet with my tears?!?! HE IS DESERVING OF ALL PRAISE, ADORATION, AND LOVE!
Slipping into sin starts in the mind and heart. I can still recall the moment in time, before I started mixing with those who hate God. I still recall the Holy Spirit's provocation within my heart, urging me to walk away, before I regretted my actions. Did I listen? No.
Did He give up? NO! He never forced me, but He did allow me a miserable existence, to insure I knew His displeasure. Oh, how miserable, indeed! Yes, sin allures and gives pleasure... But, only for a season.
As the God-haters continued with no real misery, I sure had misery! I masked it with more sin. My rebellious flesh-led heart did not want any part with godly repentance! Back and forth was I with repentance and carnal living... Back and forth.
Yet, God delivered me! Though His chastisement was sore, it was profitable! I finally came out of the hog pen, to be embraced by my Father's arms!
Have I regressed since then? Yes. Do I wait as long to get right? By His grace, no! I do not want to break His heart as I felt I did in the past!
Whether it is an outward manifestation, or that sin of which only He and I know, I desire to not become bed-fellows with sin. Backsliding taught me how depraved the flesh is, and how amazing God is.
Tonight, I read an article by John R. Rice, regarding this issue. As I am often reminded of my past, I often seek reprieve in the Lord. It was written so well, I desired to share it with you, (after testifying about it, myself).
Oh, how I can understand and empathize with David, Noah, Peter, the man who needed church discipline in 1 Corinthians, and Mary of Bethany.