© COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved|
Finding My Way Back To God
Proverbs 28:13 says explicitly that - "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."
Nowadays, it is very unfortunate that we find those who want to have a very flippant attitude toward sin. Resultantly, after breaking God's law, they find themselves returning to Him in a nonchalant manner. We have found, in some meetings, "altar calls" filled with people chewing gum..."cutting up" with their friends...preoccupied with what others are thinking at the moment...or distracted with a million different things. We are being bombarded by contemporary Christian songs which emphasize the fact that the believer cannot help but keep falling into sin again and again and again. The Blessed consolation is - they say - that Jesus will always be right there to pick them up - time after time.
My Brethren, God is not mocked! This "constant falling into sin mentality" that plagues so many is not the Gospel! Sin is offensive to a Holy God; hence, repentance calls for great sobriety and seriousness. Without the "godly sorrow" mentioned in the Bible, there is no forgiveness for sin - nor restoration to the joy of the Lord - which so many lack today.
Please do not misunderstand what we are saying here. If someone - in the weakness of their flesh - yields to Satan's temptation and sins, God - in His mercy - will come running to that individual when they call on Him with a repentant heart.
Notice that we said - a repentant heart. That is very important.
~ None can expect God to come a-runnin' after they have fallen into the same sin over and over and over again. That is not repentance!
~ We must understand that the Lord only forgives sins of which a person turns away completely or repents.
~ So many want to confess their sin before God, but they are not willing to forsake it. Consequently, as Proverbs 28:13 points out, they find no mercy. Their lives are plagued with guilt, shame, condemnation, and a lack of peace and joy.
The Scriptures offer us many guidelines to follow in finding our way back to God after going astray from His fold.
Let's study them together and believe that - those reading this message who are desiring to get right with the Lord - will truly and sincerely "mean business" with Him by forsaking all sin once and for all.
1. Preparing Your Heart
Job 11:13 says - "If thou prepare thine heart..."
Preparing the heart is the initial step to change. It entails a certain looking within, a determination to seek God with all of the soul, and a resolve to change whatever needs to be changed.
2. Determining To Take Hold Of God
Job 11:13 says - "If thou..stretch out thine hands toward Him."
This step entails stirring up oneself to take hold of God through earnest and fervent prayer and supplication. The expression - "stretching out thine hand toward Him" - or giving the hand to Him means yielding all areas of one's life to Him.
3. Calling For God's Search
Psalm 139:23-24 says - "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Job 31:6 says - "Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity."
Here the individual desires for God to examine his heart with the closest scrutiny in order to determine whether or not he has given place to false hopes, delusions, or self-deception of any kind. He yearns for his thoughts, purposes, affections, and conduct to be tested as metal is tried. He realizes that this thorough investigation is meant to judge if he has anything within him that tends to alienate him from God - an idol, a way of iniquity, or a way of falsehood.
4. Examining & Judging Self
1 Corinthians 11:28 says - "But let a man examine himself..."
1 Corinthians 11:31 says - "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged."
2 Corinthians 13:5 says - "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves..."
This particular step involves a strict, severe, and piercingly-honest search of the thoughts, words, feelings, and conduct to determine if one is truly in the Faith. Such questions that aid in this investigation are - Am I gaining victory over besetting sin in my life? Am I becoming more and more conformed to Jesus?
5. Considering Your Ways
Psalm 119:59 says - "I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto Thy testimonies."
Ezekiel 18:28 says - "Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed..."
Haggai 1:5 says - "Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways."
This involves fixing the mind on one's course of life. It calls for a reflection of the past - where one has walked, what steps had been taken to get to the place where one is today, what choices were made, what opportunities were missed, etc. Generally speaking, it is a determinate pondering of the path of one's feet.
6. Admitting Sin
Job 33:27 says - "He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right..."
Micah 7:9 says - "I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against Him..."
Here the individual admits to wrongdoing. He realizes that sin provokes God's just rebuke or indignation. Without murmuring or complaining, he receives chastisement from the hand of the Lord for his own stubbornness, disobedience, and rebellion.
7. Forsaking Ungodly Ways & Thoughts
Isaiah 55:7 says - "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD..."
After admitting his sin and seeing how it brings God's displeasure and wrath along with it, he is resolved to abandon - with utmost hatred - all transgressions or evil or corrupt courses, vices, practices, or companions.
8. Making Amends
Daniel 4:27 says - "...break off thy sins by righteousness..."
The offender is now determined to "bring forth...fruits meet for repentance"(Matthew 3:8). In other words, he is urgent in showing others that his life is reformed or changed. One of the ways he does this is by making amends - wherever needed.
9. Determining To Offend No More
Job 34:31-32 says - "Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more...if I have done iniquity, I will do no more."
He realizes that it's not enough to simply be sorry for sin; he must resolve never to do it again. By God's grace, he will no longer act wickedly, ungodly, or in a manner contrary to the Holy Law.
10. Replacing the Course Of Sin With A Holy Walk
Romans 6:13 says - "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."
Titus 2:12 says - "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world."
Job 34:32 says - "That which I see not teach thou me..."
Lastly, he must now "learn to do well"(Isaiah 1:17). He does this by continually devoting every member of his body to God and His service. He submits to and complies with the will of the Almighty for his life...denies himself of any and all corrupt desires, affections, appetites, or ambitions...and develops a teachable spirit which welcomes any notice from God of error or sin in his life.
O Reader, have you strayed from the Lord?
Do you have a desire to make things right with your Maker?
Then follow these Scriptural guidelines and you will once again be restored to a beautiful and peaceful walk with your Lord and Savior - Jesus.
Your obedience will bring the blessing to your life.
God will see to it!
May God Bless His Word.