The Word I’m Looking For (Episode II)January 26, 2009
This continues the pondering of certain verses containing the single appearance of a given word in the King James bible. It’s not an exhaustive listing (such a list would be exhausting) but is intended to bring to light a number of notable verses that share this characteristic. And so this installment begins with a passage that probably one of the top ten most sobering passages in scripture.
Hebrews 6:6 “If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
I do believe that a person can reach a point of no return, but if one does reach such a point, they will never again have a desire for the things of God. It is, without a doubt, a serious matter to drift away from the Lord Jesus and it can take place without our even realizing it. Usually in tiny increments that don’t register from day to day, or even year to year. If fellowshipping in a lukewarm setting, the drifting can go on unnoticed until one is at the point of being ready to die. A person can unwittingly leave their first love while their Christian facade remains intact, or they can venture into more obvious forms of iniquity. While I should save this for my testimony (which I must finish one of these days) I had a prolonged season where I was in a backslidden state. It didn’t happen overnight, however, in hindsight, I can identify all of the ingrediants that were in my life which led to several years in a very compromised and defeated state.
Carnal mindedness, mixed with spiritual pride is a recipe for disaster and when I returned to Constantine in 1989, stagnation began to set in. Soon the entertaining of thoughts which ineveitably led to the acting out of those thoughts. All of this led to a lengthy season that I would prefer to not think about. And yet, a lot of learning came as a result of that season. The dangers of not separating from the world, feeling that we’re beyond stumbling, and failing to “keep our hearts with all diligence” are very real to me. So while I really wish that I had never entered into such a dark season, I often wonder if it actually prevented a much more dangerous situation down the road. A state in which a worldly form of godliness becomes so ingrained into ones life that they can no longer receive the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit.
In either March or April of 2004, the Lord brought me out of this state in a way that only he could have done. One night while I was out here surfing the internet, I came across the address of my church in Norfolk Virginia. They are still in the same storefront building that I remembered from years before. That night, while laying awake in bed, I began to remember the old paths. I began to ponder the days when I was close to Jesus and actively involved in street ministry. I found myself embarking on a journey of rememberance; the saints in the navy, the saints in san Diego, the hour back in September of 83 when I came to Jesus, and everything that had taken place since. I found myself asking the question posed in Jeremiah 8:6 “What have I done?” The next day, while driving to work, I completely repented of the past several years, asked the Lord to begin fixing the colossal mess that I had created, and promised to never let such a thing happen again. The Lord was faithful as he always is. A complete restoration; beyond anything that I had ever known before.
There is one more thing that needs mentioning. Before I was saved, there were certain wicked things that I had no problem doing. Yet during the backslidden state, there was like a “barrier” that prevented me from returning to everything that made up who I was before coming to Jesus. It’s as though the Lord, in his mercy, was preventing me from slipping past a certain point. I didn’t understand this until after the season ended, but it kept me from falling beyond a certain point. I should also mention that, in the days following the restoration I wrestled with doubt quite a lot; thinking that I had gone too far. One night, II Corinthians 7:11 hit me as it reveals the fruit that stems from true repentance. Well I didn’t plan to go into all of this, but this series of posts is forcing discussion on some things that I could easily avoid. I thought about skipping over the word “Afresh” since this is not an exhaustive list. As soon as the thought entered my mind, however, I knew that I was supposed to include this word as well. But now, I can move on, and what a word to move on to.
Luke 22:44 “And being in great agony he prayed more earnistly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
It’s so imperative to remember how great our salvation really is. We can become dull of hearing and cold if we don’t consistantly visit Calvary. I cannot imagine what this must have been like for Jesus. The disciples had fallen asleep and he knew what was at the door. For the first time in all of eternity, he would be separated from the Father. He would be given into the hands of sinful men and be beaten so severely as to be beyond recognition. He would be humiliated, mocked, and nailed to a tree by those who didn’t believe on him, as he took upon himself the sin debt of the entire world. I regularly pray for a greater revelation of Calvary. I’m convinced that even a lifetime of increased revelation could not reveal the fulness of just how incredibly great our salvation is or a full grasping of what Jesus went through to redeem us from everlasting death.
Well I’ll close for now as I must head off to work soon. In going through all of this, I’m reminded of just how awesome Jesus is. He could have called ten thousand angels, but didn’t. And because of the obediance of one, eternal life is offered freely to “whosoever will.” What an incredible blessed hope. As we get this deep into our hearts, nothing of this world will rattle us. Our time here is ever so brief and after this, forever with Jesus. I just checked and noticed that the LAST TRUMPET NEWSLETTER for February is posted. There’s the link. Until the next time, I wish to all, a blessed day in Jesus.