A Path of Hope and Restoration
When we get tempted and fall, not many including fellow believers want to be associated with us. Many people have lost their place in the faith because they have been ostracized by those, they would have imagined would stand with them and guide them to restoration.
God does not call for a popular vote to guide Him on who needs forgiveness and the one to be cast away. He leaves it to us to be convicted by the Holy Spirit and turn to the cross. 1 John 1:9– “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Although we are quick to judge people, God does not look on the outside, but He makes His decision based on the heart of an individual. 1Sam 16:7b “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” God desires a repentance that is real, and radical.
God has a bottomless well of grace for those who genuinely turn to Him.
ABC of Restoration
The Israelites realized that they had sinned against God by asking for a king. They were afraid that God would strike them dead. But when they turned to Samuel to pray for them, he said in 1 Samuel 12:20-25 “Do not be afraid, you have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord but serve the Lord with all your heart. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. For the sake of His great name the Lord will not reject His people, because the Lord was pleased to make you His own. As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you. Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”
What an amazing assurance!
How does this repentance apply to a New Testament believer? The Israelites situation is identical to someone being seduced from his or her wholehearted, sincere and pure devotionto God for lesser even spiritual or earthly acceptable things.
We are not to take on worldly habits neither are we to allow something even when it seems to be spiritual or reasonable to disconnect us from God.
“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus who died-more than that who was raised into life-Is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
1 Sam 12:20-25
- DO NOT BE AFRAID
Satan fuels fear in three ways:
- Fear of consequences– If you own up to your sins there will be repercussions.
- Fear of men– What will people say about me. What about my name?
- Fear of future circumstances– If I own up it can be used against me in the future.
We ought to learn to trust in God, that though there may be consequences of our sins, God is able to use it for our good when all is done. The scriptures have recorded David as a great king and lover of God. He repented and asked God for forgiveness.
One of the practical ways that can assist you to weather the guilt of sin is to confide with someone who can pray with you and together agree to bind Satan’s temptation that is recurrent in your life. Mathew 18:19-20 “Again I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in Heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them.” Learn to TRUST in God completely, humble and surrender yourself and all things concerning you into His loving arms.
Psalms 138: 6-8 (Psalm of David)
“Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me, your love, oh Lord endures forever-do not abandon the work of your hands.”
Ask God to empower you so that you do not melt under the fear of men.
David wrote: Psalm 56:3-4
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God whose word I praise, In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal men do to me?”
Christ said: Mathew 10:28
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Your responsibility is one, “To get back on Track with God”
- YOU HAVE DONE ALL THIS EVIL (vs 20)-Do not down play the seriousness of any sin you have committed before God; Do not fall into the temptation to transfer your sin, blame it or rationalize it. Never minimize sin in comparison to what you may reason are bigger sins.
- NEVER TURN AWAY FROM THE LORD– No matter what you have done, turning away from the Lord is not an option. 1 Tim 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”
Your sins are not beyond the mercies of God.
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
- BUT SERVE THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART(VS 24)
Do not continue to linger in your past. When the Lord has forgiven you, He has cleansed you from all unrighteousness ( 1 John 1:9) the church should learn to embrace its fallen soldiers so long as they are repentant. Let us subject ourselves to the ministry of reconciliation and restoration. None of us is without sin! Although this is not a ticket to continue in sin so that we may be forgiven, no one deserves to be denied the opportunity to serve God. Gal 6:1a “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are upright should restore him gently..”
- FOR THE SAKE OF HIS GREAT NAME, THE LORD WILL NEVER REJECT HIS PEOPLE(VS 22)
The Lord has made the promise that He will never forsake those who will turn to Him.
Hebrews 13:5 “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you”God’s faithfulness is based on His great name; His great name stands even if we fall. He says, “Because the Lord was pleased to make you His own” (vs 22)
Not only are you protected from rejection for the sake of God’s great name; He is pleased to make you His own.
“He reached out from on high and took hold of me; He drew me from deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place, He rescued me because He was delighted in me”.
Did you hear that? He rescued me because He was delighted in me
Phil 1:6 “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it”!
God delights in us, He has a plan every day to rescue you from the traps of the enemy. It does not matter how deep you have sunk; neither does it matter how long you have been running away from His saving grace. He is prepared to receive you today. He does not just say you are welcome, He is saying it is my pleasure child to forgive you because I delight in you!
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will lift you up!
Let us now come and be restored in the Lord.
Rev. Julius Wainaina