backsliderThis past Monday at our Men’s Bible Study, our pastor Brother Dennis taught on “Things I’m Thankful For” and the second point he made really stuck with me. He said we can be thankful because “Jesus’ power breaks sin’s stronghold.” He was referring to the good news found in Romans 8:

    “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)

Brother Dennis told us that those of us who are born again have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, and because of this sin has no more domination over us. There may be pressure outside of us from this world, temptation, and sin, but the Holy Spirit inside of us compensates for the outside pressure. This means we no longer have to allow sin to dominate our lives. In fact, Brother Dennis said we should not tolerate sin dominating our lives.

Now here is the point he made that really struck home with me. Brother Dennis said that “Lust is a shallow Christian’s sin.” Wow! He wasn’t being mean, but he sure is teaching contrary to what most churches in America teach about backsliding. I myself have been guilty of excusing my sin as backsliding, but I promise you I never considered myself a shallow Christian. But as always, Brother Dennis is right and Scripture backs him up:

    “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied from above.” (Proverbs 14:14)

Look again at what Solomon wrote; someone who fills his heart with his own ways is a nice way of describing a shallow Christian. American churches are filled with shallow Christians, and not only in the pews, but also in the pulpits. We, I, may try to excuse our sin as backsliding, but the Prophet Isaiah describes it as wickedness:

    “Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward.” (Isaiah 1:4)

Even though Isaiah wrote that about Judah over 2700 years ago, he could have wrote it this morning to describe America. We have become far too worldly and until we as a people repent of our evil ways and seek God’s forgiveness and healing, there is no chance of turning the Good Ship America around. It is headed for the falls and the only way to avoid it is to turn around and go the other way.

Perhaps if we could see now the videotape of our sins as God sees them, that would wake us up? I don’t know, I’m just thinking out loud. However, we are going to have to stand before God and give an account for our time. Commenting on Proverbs 14:14, Matthew Henry writes:

    “Of all sinners, backsliders will have the most terror when they reflect on their own ways.”

Maybe that’s why we don’t like to see our sins through a Biblical lens. Perhaps this is why you’ll hear preaching on your best life now instead of hearing how our depravity denies us righteousness and the fullness of life that Jesus promised. Come on preacher man, I don’t come to church to be made uncomfortable, I come to have my spirits lifted. Fine, but if your spirit is being filled with garbage, maybe that’s why it doesn’t last past the church parking lot.

To lust is to tell God you are not satisfied with the life He’s given you. As a Christian that has to be in the top three of blasphemies. I know blasphemy is a tough word and no doubt someone is going to call me on it. However, I need the clarity of Scripture to break away the false cocoon of feeling good that I’ve wrapped myself in. To do so is to live the life of Christian liberty and to be truly satisfied:

    “The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)

Beloved, let us stop seeking our own means of satisfaction and taste fully of the Lord and see that He is good. Then when we reflect on our own ways, terror will be replaced with triumph.

In Christ
Ps. 37:4

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    Copyright © 2014 David Jeffers


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