HomeEditorial CommentCharacteristics of ‘backsliddenness’ 3

Characteristics of ‘backsliddenness’ 3

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REPENTANCE is not for everybody. Only those who acknowledge their imperfections are candidates for it.

Michael Brown says that repentance is exclusively for those:

“Who have fallen short, who acknowledge their need; who have turned away, who have sinned; who want to come back. It is not for the totally righteous or self-sufficient.

They do not qualify for such a precious gem! Nor do they know what they are missing” Brown, Whatever Happened to the Power of God, page 101.

The New Testament equivalent of death is repentance, brokenness and humility before God. According to the Strong’s Concordance, the Greek word for cross stauros, means figuratively, exposure to death, self-denial.

There is a connection between God’s glory and your death. “Only dead men can see God” Tenney, The God Chasers, Page 51. God told Moses: No man shall see me, and live,” (Exodus 33:20). “If there will be flesh when God’s glory comes, it will have to be dead flesh.

There is something about death (repentance) that attracts God. The more death he smells, the closer he comes. The more you die, the closer he gets” Tenney, The God Chasers, page 63. Less of you means more of him. He must increase as you decrease!

The Pentecostal pioneer Frank Bartleman, of the Azusa revival, said, “the depth of your repentance will determine the height of your revival” Tenney, the God Chasers, page 60.

Genuine spirit-born repentance attracts God. David says in Psalm 51:17, “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken spirit and a contrite heart – these, O God, you will not despise.” Candidly said, God is defenceless before a broken and a contrite heart!

Breakthrough only comes to broken people. These are people who are not pursuing their own ambitions but are after the purposes of God.

“You must be ready to accept to become the firewood when you pray for God to send his fire. God’s fire doesn’t fall on empty altars.”

Unless you are dead you will certainly crawl away from the altar when the heat is turned on!

You need to search your heart and honestly repent for attempting to please people instead of God. Repent from your obsession with material things, comfort at the expense of doing God’s will, pride and a mean (stingy) spirit. You need to break because of filthiness of mind, wickedness of the heart, obscene talk and speech without grace.

You need to confess your addiction to pornographic stuff – literature, late night X-rated movies and immoral soap operas! Someone has been unfaithful in his or her working place. Husbands need to repent for being domineering, ruthless and suffocating to their wives.

Others have abdicated their responsibility as head of the home. Wives need to repent, for being insubmissive, difficult, critical and nagging to their husbands. Children must repent for being rebellious and failing to honour their parents.

There are many issues that need to be dealt with. One thing worth mentioning is rebellion against divinely ordained authority. Despising authority is a sin that should be repented of.

Fourthly, begin to seek the face of the Lord.

Civilised and knowledgeable believers today scoff at the idea of seeking God. They say God is not lost – why are you seeking Him?

Wonderful Hymns like Nearer My God To Thee and Pass Me Not O Gentle Saviour have been outlawed and literally banned from Christian meetings.

What has not been banned has been mercilessly edited and completely stripped of its original anointed intent and content!

It is biblical to seek the face of the Lord. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, the Bible says: “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

God invites you to seek his face. God’s face is himself. When people see a photograph of your face, they say, oh, this is Jodo, it is him!

The church has sought God’s hand without bothering about His face. God’s hand stands for his benefits, what he can give you. His face is him – who he is! Tenney, Chasers Page 121.

Those who seek him will find him. He knows that if he avails himself to people who don’t need him, he will be given a poor reception or none at all!

The Bible says, “But from there the promised land you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul,” (Deuteronomy 4:29). Half-hearted seekers should stop wasting their time – they won’t find him.

He wants to be sought after with all your soul! Proverbs 8:17 says, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.” “Diligently” means persistently, with determination and with commitment.

People no longer seek the Lord diligently. That explains why prayer meetings do not carry the popular vote! Miracle services carry the day. This is because people want his hand (benefits) and not his face!

People are infatuated with the things of God and bored with the God of the things. They are more attentive to the gifts and they don’t care what the giver wants to say! Honestly, don’t we need to change?

The Bible further continues to say that; “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” (Psalm 107:9). When we seek him, we need not worry about his benefits. God’s favour and provision flows wherever his face is directed.

My friend, God is ready to show himself in your life. The longing in your heart is an indication that there are still sparks in your heart that can be fanned into a big flame.

God promises his healing. In Jeremiah 3:13 the Bible says: “Return, backsliding Israel, says the Lord, I will not cause my anger to fall on you. For I am merciful, says the Lord.

I will not remain angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity that you have transgressed against the Lord your God, and have scattered your charms to alien deities under every green tree. And you have not obeyed my voice, says the Lord.”

Verse 22 says: “Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.”

You need to conduct a deep soul searching exercise. Honestly, is your spiritual life what it is meant to be? Are you missing the days in the past when you were blazing hot, full of passion and zeal for God?

When you touch God and he touches you, you are spoiled for the world. Good preaching no longer fascinates you!

Good singing is never enough for your hungry soul. Only his manifest presence makes sense in your life. Pray that you get so desperate, so hungry and so broken that you will stop at nothing to draw his attention.

Bishop Colin Nyathi, an extract taken from his book entitled Desperate For God’s Presence, the 2nd Edition.

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