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Backsliding, Repentance and Forgiveness
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1 John 1:8-10 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”
Life as a Christian is a beautiful way to live because of the divine blessings and honor that comes from serving our Heavenly Father. However, we must remember that as committed to our faith and acceptance of Jesus Christ as we may be, we are still human beings capable of falling short of God’s glory. The Bible teaches us to confess our sins and to repent by turning away from the immoral temptations of this dark world. Each day that we continue to walk upon this earth the plight of spiritual warfare will continue as an invading force that hovers over us trying to break our holy foundation. God forewarned that our battle is not with mere man, but that it is against wicked powers of the air.
Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
I have been a Christian for countless years, but whenever my guard is down my inner peace is subjected to a place of vulnerability. It is a tricky position to be in because regardless of living a devoted life serving Christ, there are still times when my spiritual walk is challenged by schemes of the devil; and instead of rebuking and fleeing temptation, I have fallen prey to the downfall of my flesh. I am a strong person with a genuine desire to live in righteousness, but there are moments when Satan will interfere, similar to the manner in which he did with Job.
Proverbs 25:26 “Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.”
A few days ago I was telling a friend how happy and peaceful my life has been over the past four years. Literally moments later I found myself in a fight with a close relative. To my shock and horror, I had allowed her actions to incite my spirit to a point of physical combat. In all my anger, I decided to go home and immediately fell to my knees in prayer and repentance. I later apologized to my niece and asked for forgiveness simultaneous to forgiving her. After all, had I not gone over to her house in a blaring and confronting manner based on vicious gossip, the incident would never have transpired. As Christians, we both made peace with each other and were able to move forward.
2 Timothy 2:22-26 “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”
I am humbly grateful that God is merciful with His forgiveness; as well as being extremely appreciative that He teaches us to forgive others during times of backsliding. I have learned that my fight with my niece did not have anything to do her per se, but that in a heated moment of weakness, we both were in the midst of a spiritual battle instigated in a realm of demonic forces. I also learned that all Christians should learn how to effectively refrain from anger and a multitude of other negative factors which will hinder our spiritual journey and development. Even though none of us are perfect human beings, we were blessed with perfect love through Jesus Christ and should always call upon His love and the Holy Spirit to help guide our actions.
We all have a choice to walk in the light and to be a positive example; but it is imperative that we let go of all prideful thoughts and put on the helmet of humility. It is not God’s plan that we remain blinded by guilt, hate, gossip, dissension, fear or any other cunning lies that Satan uses to kill and destroy. As long as we live in this world we are constantly subjected to its evil through Satan and/or our flesh which is in direct opposition to Christ. However, we are encouraged to wear the whole armor of God to strengthen our battle in a war of good versus evil.
We should all endeavor to not allow the enemy to tempt us away from our Godly walk, causing us to make wrong decisions. Believe me, the devil knows our areas of weaknesses and appoints his dark angels to attack. Unfortunately, our human reaction is to strike back, totally oblivious to the entity that our fight is actually against. I will remember to overcome evil with good to help prevent future outbursts, grievances, or any other form of manipulation; but most of all, I will love with my whole heart, soul and spirit.
It is my hope and prayer that people reading this testimony who may be struggling with anger issues, or any other sinful bondage resulting from the devil’s lies, will trust in the power of God to overcome all dark forces of this life. Love is the answer to procuring new beginnings to live in peace among brethren.
Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
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