Although to be perfectly honest, often I feel far away from God and I know that I am so open to temptation and, if I can put it another way, I sometimes feel I am in reverse as my progression in my spiritual life in concerned.
So what do we do when our life and walk with Jesus seems to be going in the wrong direction than what we expected when we first committed our lives to Christ?
I feel the late Keith Green put it in a most memorable way in his song "Grace by which I'm Saved".
The link to which is here just copy and paste to your browser.
The key lines for me and the ones which I can relate to so much in my own life is that "Nothing lasts except the grace of God by which I stand in Jesus - and by which I am saved". Keith goes on to say that as Christians, without the very grace of God we would most definitely fall away.
So where does that leave us if we feel our faith in Christ is in reverse and not progressing the way we thought it would? Are we or have we already fallen away from the one who came to save us? Are we doomed because we keep falling into the same old temptation time and time again? When is enough enough and when does God 'pull the plug' on our lives and simply give up on us?
There are a couple of ways we can go in reverse when following Jesus. We can DELIBERATELY follow our hearts desire and let go of the hand that has been guiding us. We get to the stage where we ignore the holy spirit's leading in our lives and jump in anyway ignoring completely the prompting of God's voice in our lives.
Going in reverse in this way can have huge disastrous effects and even consequences that can ruin our own life plagued and burdened with guilt and despair.
Going in reverse can also be brought on by neglect of following Jesus as passionately as we did when we first came to Him in the first place. As Keith Green stated so plainly, feelings may come and go but the grace of God is never-changing it is the only real constant in our lives. We can start neglecting to draw close to God, becoming less trusting, letting doubt grow where dependence once existed.
We may get so busy doing 'things' that we just stop seeking God's will in our lives and just haven't the time to read the Bible and start depending on our own strength to see us through the hard times and forget about our need to focus on God and what Jesus has done for us to bring us to salvation in the first place.
Well, when is enough enough as far as God is concerned? Here is some amazing news for us who have found ourselves in reverse, sometimes even hurtling in reverse! GOD DOES NOT CONDEMN US! He will keep on bringing us back to Him through the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
If you are anything like me, I certainly know when I am not walking with Christ, when I have stepped away and done my own thing. My conscious tell me exactly what my condition is. I am so riddled with guilt and such a feeling of wandering away that I have to end up getting right with God again.
I am reminded of the parable that Jesus told us in Matthew 18: 12-14 the Shepherd (Jesus) leaves the ninety-nine sheep (those of His secure in His love) safely in the fold and searches diligently and constantly until he finds the lost one (those of us in reverse) and brings them back to the safety of His fold.
Amazing truths and one of which I can identify so readily. Way back in May 2012 I wrote a blog titled Roaring Lions and Bungee Jumping. During that time in my life, I had huge struggles with temptation and being so easily tempted by satan. Have things changed? Of course they have but I am still tempted and I still fall and God is still hanging onto me as if by a bungee line but best of all the line has never broken. He has never let me fall and he has never failed me.
God constantly seeks those of us who have wandered away. His loving concern for us master drivers of going in reverse, is sure and steadfast. He calls us back to Himself time and time again.
Once we have committed our life to God then we are changed. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that once we are in Christ we are NEW creatures - the old has gone the new has come. This simply means the old life has been changed forever the new life in Jesus has begun. Even though we may often wander away, God's Holy Spirit which he gave to us when we came to Him originally will keep on prodding us back. That is THE calling of God in your life - Please don't ever ignore it.
What about the person who keeps on denying Christ? Christians should live daily for Christ, regardless of where we are or who we have been with. We should be growing progressively in Christ. We should be growing more and more Christlike every day. More and more Holy - more and more like Jesus. Sure we may often fail but we can be restored just like the lost sheep.We are forgiven time and time again.
But the person denying Christ is unfortunately a completely different story. We should have our doubts about a person who claims to be a Christian yet lives their lives completely and utterly without a hint of change in their life. They can sin and feel nothing. If they disown Jesus as Lord then Jesus unfortunately will disown them. (2 Timothy 2: 13).
So how about you? Are you going in reverse at this very moment? Are you the one lost sheep that has wandered away from the fold? Are you feeling the weight of sin on your life? Are you concealing it from others and yourself? The message is plain and simple. Come back!
God will never leave you ~ he never has. It's you who have walked away. Turn around, get out of reverse gear and let God put it back into first. Drive forward with God, let Him take the wheel and get your life moving forward again. I know I did and I haven't regretted it for even one second. Of course we all still fail and fall BUT he will be there to keep hauling us back to Him. Just ask His forgiveness and re-start.
Does reading the Bible feel like a chore? Then maybe just start in the New Testament and read one chapter every day, no more no less BUT make sure you pray first then start. It's a great way to revitalise your time with God and I'm sure it will bless your life abundantly.
Circumstances change in our life constantly and we change too as circumstances direct but as Keith Green reminded us the grace of God, that saves us, never changes.
God bless you this week as you let the Master driver get you out of reverse and put you back into drive.