I’m re-reading a fantastic book, The Way Back To God by Clarence Sexton. The dedication in the book reads:
This book is dedicated to all those who have come back to God. I mean by this, true children of God who have drifted and have repented of their sin and cast themselves on God’s mercy for the way back to Him.
In the introduction it mentions that “David’s heart cry in Psalm 51 is the sinner’s guide back to God”.
A dear friend gave me this book in December of 2010, when I first went back to my church home. I was the prodigal child, who had gone into the “world” and squandered my riches. In this case my riches were the blessings, love and support of fellow believers, my testimony of faith, various friendships etc. At the time I had no idea what was really going on was an issue within MY heart. Oh, I did not agree with somethings that were being done at my church home, but I did not react in love. My heart was growing black with a sinful secret life being led while each week attending services to worship. What could have been an opportunity to share my heart with the elders in my church, and perhaps open their thinking and hearts to a different perspective, became my springboard of justifying leaving. I still believe things were not handled as they should have been, but I certainly was not behaving in a Christ like manner. The problem with any church body and leadership is…they are human. Therefore prone to make mistakes, and we expect them to somehow behave as anything other than sinners, be they saved by grace or not.
King David was “a man after God’s own heart”, precious and blessed by God, protected and loved. And he loved God too, and served Him and found great favor with God. Of all people we would not imagine could not only sin, but then keep digging deeper into the pit of darkness, it is King David. He went from sinful lust, to adultery, to lying, to murder. This was because, as the book says, “If you allow something to come between you and your walk with God, there is no telling how far you will go and what terrible things you might do if you keep going in the wrong direction.” Oh true words these are! I did not take every thought captive to to Christ as the bible teaches to do. Instead, my thought life led to dabbling in sin, just sticking my hands in the water, then my feet, and before long I was sinking beneath the surface and no longer hearing that still, small voice inside. I had not dealt with sin before it started, and as I let it in, it took over. My fault.
David didn’t do what he did over night, it went on for a long time. It wasn’t until after a child had been born as a result of his sin, a year after the murder of Uriah, who’s wife David had committed adultery with and had a child with, that his sin was revealed. And while God did in fact forgive David and reconciled their relationship, there were consequences for that sin. The child died and David’s house never was a place of peace again. I have seen the consequences of my sins. But I also know that as a child of God, daughter of the Most High, I’m forgiven when I repented of what I have done. It was not easy to pull away from those ways either, I was pulled back to the edge of the pool many times to wad in the waters before pulling myself out again.
I’ve lost much that I believe came as a direct result. While I was not wealthy by any stretch, I did have a pretty nice life with a good husband, a home, pool, hot tub, nice cars etc. But sin broke down the foundation of the marriage, both mine and his sins, and over time I took things even further. While I had his blessing to go down that road, and even his support, it was wrong. I knew it and yet I went there willingly. It was even my own idea. Perhaps that is why I am now without those things I held dear to me. In this lifetime I will likely never have that answer. But I do know that as I have examined my life up until now, I know what I must do and where I must turn.
I have my issues with where I had been in a church family. But sound doctrine is more important than feel good music and gospels, or being liked for that matter. Watering down the Word of God may win over ‘friends’, but it won’t convict the sinner to repent. So that is why I will go where I once was, I need solid teaching as I progress through this walk and yield to God’s will for me.
A Prayer of Repentance
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
51 Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,[a]
And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.