Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.1Exe 37:23 AV
The NIV uses the word “Backsliding” whereas the AV states that God will save us from our “dwelling places”.
Backsliding –the opposite of repentance; they are diametrically opposed to one another! One is turning away from God toward evil and the other is turning away from evil toward God.
Dwelling place –where I live, my habitation, the seat, my resting place. Does what ever I look to for comfort, identify my resting place?
Is my resting place God? Is he my comforter, or am I still looking to sin for comfort?
Surely I need to be delivered from the dwelling place that produces backsliding!
And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.2Ho 11:7 AV
Do the things that humble us harm us?3Pr 16:5 AV Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.4Jas 4:6 NIV But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Don’t the choices we make dictate the life we live?5Ro 6:16 NIV Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey— whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
My Prayer: God, please save me out of my dwelling place where I have sinned. In faith, I apply the blood of Jesus, cleanse me; I want you to be my God and I want to be counted with your people. Please continue to refine me and conform me to your image.6Ge 1:26 AV And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.Amen.
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Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.7Heb 4:14 AV
Hold fast… Don’t give up! Jacob wouldn’t let go because he desperately needed a blessing.2Gen 32:24-29 NIV So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.3Heb 4:15 AV
Jesus has empathy and compassion for our struggles, he knows our feelings just as his own.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.4Heb 4:16 AV
Expository: Let us, without concealment (open confession), draw near to the seat of grace (the mercy seat where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us) that we may (with empty hands) lay hold of mercy (the kindness and goodwill towards the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to help them) and find grace (the merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues) to help in time of need.
Consider:“come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy” Whom ever needs mercy should come boldly –does that not seem the opposite of what we naturally do?5Ro 5:6-8 NIV You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.6Ro 11:32 NIV “For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”
Further Consideration: Look at the order: we are encouraged to come boldly before we obtain mercy and find grace. If I am waiting for mercy and grace before entering into the presence of God, have I not believed a lie, a grand lie of the enemy? Who else would want to prevent me from getting what I so desperately need except the enemy of my soul? Shall I not go immediately, especially if I love my sin and can’t help myself? Where does hatred for sin come from, if not God?
If we deserved mercy, would we even need it? We are instructed to come boldly to the God of mercy because we desperately NEED His mercy and grace! Doesn’t the blood of Jesus qualify us to receive the mercy and grace of God?
If we confess our sins (agree with God), he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.71Jo 1:9 AV
We must be diligent and continue to come boldly to the throne of grace; ignoring the lies that somehow we have to be worthy, to receive mercy and grace. How bold is someone who is starving, will they not pursue food at all costs?8Mt 5:6 AV Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Mercy and grace are gifts that God desires us to receive. Confession is where the hatred of sin begins, shall we not confess our sins even if we continue to commit them over and over?9Mt 11:12 NIV From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.
The enemy uses lies about us to drain our will to fight for what has been given us. If the enemy’s accusations are true we have only to apply the blood of Christ to effectively turn them into a blessing. We apply the blood of Christ through confession.10Mt 5:25 AV Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.11Lu 12:58-59 AV When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite.
Just yesterday my teen age son decided to deep clean his room. With the help of a friend they took everything and donated it. When I got home I asked him what he had done with some key things of value. His response punched the wind out of me.
Some of the toys my son got rid off were rare and valuable. Because they were discontinued shortly after I started buying them for him, I had to search and search for the rare pieces and pay a premium. It was worth it because he enjoyed playing with them and I imagined my son passing them along to his son like I did with my toys to him.
As a boy I had some German toys that were difficult to get because there were limited importers. They were of the highest quality and also because of rarity they were expensive. They were construction/building toys combined with modular electronics and photo optics; they even had hydraulic modules, although I only dreamed about someday playing with them. There was absolutely nothing like them; it was like having a miniature engineering play set. Due to availability and expense it took years to get the modest number of modules I had. These were my most coveted toys. I saved them for my son and when I deemed he was old enough I brought them out so he could play with them.
I was devastated to learn that he donated the most coveted toys of my youth. I was shocked by the substantial financial loss of these irreplaceable treasures. There was no undo, I knew there was no recovery; the first person who opened up the case would certainly recognize the uniqueness, quality and value and hide them away. I was overwhelmed with emotions: I was hurting, I was angry, the loss eclipsed my ability to concentrate on anything else however, the call to love my son was breaking through. It took a sense of urgency to allow the Holy Spirit to work within me to forgive. I knew I couldn’t go to sleep without my son hearing me say, “Son, I love you, I forgive you”.
On my face, before the Lord, I prayed and asked for the ability to let go and forgive. The war within me was real, how could my son and these things be on the same level? I gave these things to the Lord along with asking that they would be the first of the many things I wrongfully hold on to. I asked that this would be like the breaching of a dam. Grace and love to let go entered into my heart; willingly I forgave my son.
Without hurt and anger blinding me, I began asking questions. The answers, following the impact of this experience, are still working over my heart. How could my son give away something so important? The answer is as simple as the implications of it is profound. Simply, these things were of no importance to my son or he wouldn’t have cast them aside. I had failed to communicate to my son their value, significance and importance. How did this happen? I never played with him…
My Prayer: Oh God, please forgive me! My heart is breaking as I’m sure my son’s heart is left wanting. Search me and show me how I could let this happen.12Ps 139:23 NIV Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Please heal my son from my sin of omission; fill the void with your love. As it is only possible for you, please love my son through me and soften his heart to receive. Thank you God, that my son isn’t attached to things, please create a strong bond of love between us.
Lord, I’m a link in this chain, please break me!2Ex 20:4-6 NIV “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
God, I know there is much more at stake than this, which has just scratched the surface and foreshadows much deeper things.3Job 12:22 NIV He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light.41Co 2:10 NIV but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.I admit not only have I not taught my children to play but I have not taught them to worship you.5Pr 22:6 NIV Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. My failures are too much to bear, I lay them at your feet.6Mt 11:28-30 NIV “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Please heal my children from the effects of my sin; my sins of commission and omission have left them hurting and wanting. God, because of who you are, please have mercy on my children and I. Are you not the God of mercy?
God, I’m still reeling from this vast revelation; I don’t know how to put into words the things that the Holy Spirit is revealing to me. I’m a link in this chain that was passed along from my father and his father etc.7Le 26:40-42 NIV “‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers—their treachery against me and their hostility towards me, which made me hostile towards them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. Thank you for breaking me, please let this stop with me, heal my children, change me, close the divide between my children and I. Please, are you not the author of reconciliation? I know I made this mess however, is it not possible for you to restore what has been lost, in fact, can you not make it even better since you’re able to make all things work for our good?8Ro 8:28 NIV And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Do you not reign over the impossible?9Lu 18:27 NIV Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”God, I need impossible, I need you. Amen
“We do not really believe in God unless we believe He is God of the impossible.” David Wilkerson