Many blood bought born again Christians can relate a tragic story about a brother or sister in the Lord who have left their first love and fallen into sin. Sadly, for male Christians the primary temptation that leads to their backslidden condition is related to the lust of the flesh. As for women, there seems to be a plethora of excuses for turning their back on the God who gloriously and wondrously saved them.
Well, you exclaim, these must have never been saved in the first place. Oh? Well how do we explain Moses, King David, Solomon or Peter? Yes, you stammer, but what about those backslidden Christians who spend many wasted years in sin, away from God. The Bible states that he (God) that hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. The Lord is not slack concerning his promises; He is long-suffering, patient and loving. All the while the tarnished child of God is floundering around in their sin infested state, God is working diligently to bring that one back to the fold. Let me insert a concept that most assuredly needs to be considered. A Christian not living in deep immorality, yet living a cold indifferent life is no different in the eyes of a Holy God than a sin drenched brother. For God says that luke warm Christians are distasteful to him and that he will spew them out of his mouth. Revelation 3:15,16 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold not hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. God equates a lukewarm Christian as being carnal in nature. Romans 8: 6-8 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God. …… So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
In I John 1:9 God says when his people do sin, he has provided a way for them to make things right with him. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. As far as the east is from the west so far has God removed our transgressions from us, and he remembers them no more.
Several years ago, a former sister-in-law felt it was her Christian duty to remind me of my past ugliest sins. I listened as she finished her analogy of my wicked life and then I very softly shared with her that she was absolutely correct, but that God had forgiven me of those vile sins and He remembered them no more. There was a dead silence on the other end of the phone.
The Master Potter has each of us as a piece of clay upon the wheel of this world, refining us into the usable vessel he wants us to become. Sometimes the Lord needs to take our fractured vessels and slam it against the wheel of life to get out attention and then pour more water (Holy Spirit conviction) to reshape us into the masterpiece that he is creating. Many times this process needs to be repeated until out heart of dry clay becomes pliable in his hands, free from defects of sin.
Take the analogy of the silver vessel. My grandmother’s silver at times needs to have the dross removed before it can be used. As a silver vessel out of God’s protective covering of his will, we are exposed to the air of this world and become tarnished, sometimes almost to the point of being black. The Lord needs to apply several applications of the tarnish remover of conviction and chastisement to being back the beauty of the vessel. Then he takes the soft plush cloth of his love and brings us to a brilliant shine for his use. Have you ever noticed a Christian who shines and sparkles for the Lord? Isn’t it just awesome how that the darkest tarnished Christian, once restored to fellowship with the Lord, appears to shine more brightly for God?
Even though there are consequences for our sins, we should be determined never to let past sins keep us from living a victorious life in Christ. The illustration of David and Bathsheba is a shining example of how by confessing our sin against the Holy God and turning from our wicked ways, God can do wondrous works through us. I love to read Psalm 51, David’s confession of his sin toward his Holy God. It gives me hope and assurance of the pardoning grace of my Lord and God. The Lord is able to bless us and use us for his service, when we turn from our wicked ways. David was referred to as a man after God’s own heart. Bathsheba became the mother of Solomon, the wiseth man who ever lived. She is also mentioned in the lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Satan loves to bring to our minds the sins of our past in order to attempt to discourage us from being useful shining vessels for Christ. To give in to these dust balls that clutter our minds is to doubt God’s mercy and rob ourselves of spiritual power and progress, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniguity…If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the masters use and prepared unto every good work. 2 Timothy 2. No single sin, however dark, should ruin an entire life. I appreciate the message of Psalm 40:2,3 “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.”
So my precious Christian brother or sister, look not from whence you came, instead look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Remember, no man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. We are in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, may we shine as his light in this world. May we be encouraged to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus………………..more as the Lord leads.