Back from captivity

“When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, We were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, And we are glad. Bring back our captivity, O Lord, As the streams in the South. Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭126‬:‭1‬-‭6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Back from captivity

View from the perspective of the longitudinal, the life of the follower of Jesus is one where there are highs and lows, where one has walked steadfastly in the faith, only to struggle with old sins that resurface due to a lack of vigilance.

In those low moments, when the Christian has fallen into backsliding, it can feel as if joy of salvation has been drained away, as the pressures of the sin press upon them. There is a tendency for the Christian to seek to hide the sin, to go about finding metaphorical fig leaves, hoping in vain that the Lord does not see.

The joy of the Lord is far from the heart of one who has strayed. It is not until one confesses that peace returns.

The children of Israel are a type and shadow for the individual Christian, as the temporal promises of God to His earthly elect are manifest in the spiritual realm for the Christian. Reading Psalm one hundred twenty six, I was reminded of the joy that I have felt when I have confessed my sin, repented, and turned back to God.

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah”
Psalms 32:1-4 NKJV

Until I have agreed with God, I am at odds with Him, for we both know that I have sinned, and my faulty efforts to ignore what I have done are overwhelmed by the presence of God in me, the Holy Spirit, who reminds me of whose I am.

There is great joy in finally dealing with sin, with returning to our spiritual Zion, that desired place of fellowship with God. There is peace, and a desire for the things of God. Reading the word becomes again edifying, where one stands convicted.

“I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah”
Psalms 32:5 NKJV

One of the dangers of resisting the conviction of the Holy Spirit, is that, eventually, you will no longer hear at all the voice of God. The conviction brings mourning, the mourning brings tears of repentance, the repentance brings renewed fellowship with God. Out off that fellowship, comes the confidence to go and tell others of this great salvation.

We go about sowing the seeds of the Kingdom, joyfully telling others of Jesus, who came, of died, who was buried and rose again.

The Holy Spirit calls us to repentance, that we be renewed, raised for dead, for His sacrifice on the cross was the gateway, that we be raised with Him, even as our old selves were taken to the grave.

“Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.”
Hosea 6:1-3 NKJV

Brothers and sisters, we all have those seasons of rising and falling, but, thanks be to God, we do not have to remain there. We who have been born again have been saved from sin. We have been saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved. We have confidence because we are justified before God, are being sanctified, and will be glorified.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Romans 8:1-2 NKJV

Let us walk according to the Spirit, knowing the joy of Lord, having the confidence of bolding going before the throne of God. It begins with acknowledging our sin, of admitting that we are not righteous unto ourselves, but made righteous through Jesus Christ.

When we fall, and yes we will, let us humble ourselves before the Lord calling out to Him to revive us.

“Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.”
Psalms 51:1-4 NKJV

The Lord is faithful to bring us back from captivity, to renew our hearts within us.

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.”
Psalms 51:7-13 NKJV

My people, we have been given a great mission as we have been sent by our Just God to teach the transgressors His ways, for we were also such, but we hav been redeemed. Let us always remember this.

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
I Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV

And such were some of us.

But we were washed.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see
—John Newton

Have a Fantastic and Jesus filled Friday!

#prayfortheharvest

#prayforthepersecuted

#prayforthepeaceofIsrael

#prayforthegospeltospreadeverywhere

https://www.allaboutgod.com/the-roman-road.htm

One thought on “Back from captivity

  1. Me too, Bernie. But by the grace of God… I love the scriptures you used in here! I have a friend who is hurting deeply and I am praying right now about sharing this with him. Will you please pray for my wisdom? Hope you enjoy your Friday my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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