I almost gave up. It may be the closest I’ve come in a long time.
Unless you have walked in their shoes, you will never know the terror, the heartbreak and the opposition a prodigal faces when the decision is made to return unto the Father’s house.
I wonder today just how real some of you are out there. It’s one thing to speak great swelling words, yet another to back up with action what you are saying.
How many of those who came to our altars and prayed through to the Holy Ghost, fell shortly afterward and were never seen again?
It seems one slip, one error after being filled with the Spirit, was all it took for that soul to give up, to feel totally confident that they had received nothing, that all hope was…. in vain.
How could we let them go believing that with one strike, they were out and it was all over?
The burdens that people carry when they walk through the doors of our churches are tremendous, and we are so quick to offer what we say is ‘the perfect solution’, a fix-all that covers everything.
It does fix all, but almost never all at once. Some get it the first time and grow with leaps and bounds and we are delighted with their progress.
But what about those who struggle with this new faith, those who have awful addictions and lives that are in helpless states of disrepair.
It sounds almost blasphemous to us to say that receiving the Holy Ghost doesn’t fix all of our problems and life runs smoothly ever after…..
We find it so difficult to stand behind someone who doesn’t conquer all obstacles within a short period of time. Our instant expectations of others, causes many to falter and often give up too soon.
Hell will open up and come against you if you decide to go home to your Father.
How we have treated those trying to recover from whatever their journey has brought them, deserved or otherwise, has set the stage for unbelievable fear in those trying to shake off their hog-pen experience.
God will deal one day with the ‘elder brother’ in us. We will answer for every discouraging word or action we have spun toward our younger brother coming home.
It is perhaps our “lack” of words or action that is our greatest fault of all. Withholding encouraging words at such times is kin to homicide.
I speak my heart this evening by being honest and I know it’s risky. So many of you have said such kind and wonderful things to me since my appearance on Facebook.
I cannot number those who have said, “You are a man of God. God will greatly use you in these last days. I can feel the Spirit so much when you sing and in the things you write, you are definitely speaking what the Spirit wants said.”
I cannot tell you how special that feels and how honored I have been. They are words I never thought I would hear again.
Telling someone that your spirit agrees with theirs in the LORD is a powerful and humbling statement.
Now tell me, what if that one who is reaching forward with all that is in them to get back to God and His ways, should stumble and be over-come once again by a fault, a flash out of the past that throws them for a loop?
Satan will set you up. Don’t ever forget that! And he will use those closest to you, even those in the Church to knock you flat…. if possible.
I remember Billy Cole saying once that the enemy will often have us think he has sent one or two evil spirits against us to discourage us when in reality he has sent thousands!
Maybe it depends on how much he thinks you’re worth and just what kind of threat he thinks you are to his kingdom.
You can’t start back down the road to recovery from anything without being sorely tempted. It often takes a slip for newcomers and relapsers, old or new for some to get it.
If Hell has set against them, there’s got to be someone who will take them by the hand and say, “Come on. Don’t give up. You still have a chance and you can make it.”
Our attitude may very well determine how hard it will be for them.
We all have our breaking point, that one weak place in our armor that leaves us vulnerable.
I have a feeling that so many of our people would have been spared if they had not been deathly afraid to tell someone they had made a mistake.
The fear of what others might think can keep us silent about our mistakes and what usually happens is that we get worse and sicker and deeper in trouble because of it.
Something threw me badly. I got blindsided by something I wasn’t expecting. It doesn’t matter what it was.
What bothers and disturbs one person may not phase another. It’s all about what is important and what matters to you.
I’m sorry to say that we often withhold our struggles from others because we are afraid of being rejected or looked down upon and our reputation might suffer, and likely it will.
I know that some folks are just waiting for you to mess up so they can say, “Aha, I told you so. He or she’s a fake. I knew they didn’t have it.”
I feel sorry for those people. They have no idea what heartbreak they are setting themselves up for, what kind of wild tare they will reap.
Either someone is of the Spirit or they are not. You cannot flip flop back and forth just because someone might do something you don’t approve of or they don’t measure up to your yardstick.
Either you can discern spiritual things or your intuition is flawed. There is no counterfeit for the Holy Spirit. It either is the Spirit or it is not.
Those trying to return to ministry are likely scrutinized more closely than anyone. Ministers, male or female are not allowed to be human, they are expected to be perfect.
We wonder why so many of our ministers seem hard or calloused these days. They must bear their own problems, even not sharing their shortcomings with their own peers less they be condemned and thought less of. It’s a sad state.
Our folk have learned to wear a mask, they’ve been forced to really. It goes hard to hear by true professionals that many church people are some of the sickest in the community, the saddest and least honest.
If in this hour the enemy is not trying to trip you up then you are simply no threat to him. My heart goes out so much to those who are struggling to make it back.
I’m so grateful today that I learned God’s Word for myself and I know what it says to us even today. We like to quote “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature….”
There is one word in that verse that I got a hold of many years ago. “Old things are passed away, behold, all things are BECOME new.”
It never said things were instantly new. Think about that. There is a process in all this and can we please be decent enough today to remember that we do not all progress at the same rate!
And that includes prodigals. If I can be a bit coy in saying, “Sweetheart, you don’t discard all of your old baggage at once.” If you did, you wouldn’t have anything left to pack your things in!
To coin a treasured phrase of mine, it’s “progress, not perfection.”
I can hear the gainsayers clapping and grinning, “See there, that Blackburn didn’t fool me! I knew there was nothing to him and he’s a false prophet!”
But I honestly do not care what those people think. There are too many precious people on my Friends List who need lifting up, who need someone to tell them they can make it and that they are worth a whole lot.
This note is for them. I’m telling all of you now that there is a wicked spirit attacking many of us on here and it’s saying “Give up. Throw in the towel.”
It’s a powerful and vicious spirit and it’s attacking God’s people all over this world. There’s a nasty spirit of suicide coming against many that is trying to destroy them before they have a chance to find God again.
Rebuke that spirit in the name of Jesus Christ. That feeling of “I might as well give up” will pass.
I am here to tell you this! I stayed alive one more day to tell you, “Don’t you Quit. No matter what.
I don’t care how many times you fall down or stumble, you get back up.
Forget what anyone else might think. It’s your journey, not theirs. If they’re so hard-hearted they cannot have mercy on you then they’re in worse shape than you are and they never truly cared about you anyway.
You’re on your way to the Father, not to them. He is at the door! Do you understand.
He’s waiting right there to forgive and restore just like he’s been all along. Get your eyes off those people and get them back on Him.
You’re worth much more than you think or you wouldn’t even be worried about it.
Give it to God. His shoulders are not to weak to carry our petty misfortunes or weaknesses.
I am encouraging myself in this. The devil is a liar and so are his saints. God did not bring us this far to drop us straight out.
He does not even just drop a bald-faced sinner without giving them a chance to repent and try again.
That’s the kind of God He is.
That’s why he gave us Jesus, someone like us who understands every thing we tell him.
Unless you’ve blasphemed the Holy Ghost, and you haven’t or you wouldn’t even be reading this, there’s nothing too big for Him to forgive.
Did you hear that, NOTHING too big for Him to forgive. It’s people that can’t forgive and give you a break, not God.”
I love Him Too Much To Fail Him Now!!
I Will get back up. I won’t stay down forever. It’s too close. I tell you I can feel it.
Even a backslider can see the signs, even unbelievers can see that something’s coming.
There’s “Too Much To Gain To Lose.”
Angels will come down and stand by you if necessary. Call em!
If you’ll stop crying long enough you’ll realize they’re already here waiting for you to take a step. You’re not alone. There’s millions of us trying to make our way back to Him and I was reminded again that “a broken and contrite heart, He will in no wise turn away.”
I don’t care what others say. He simply won’t do it . It takes a bigger person to Get Up than it takes to sit complacent and full of self-righteousness.
I end with this chorus that is older even as I think about it.
You can make it, you can make it,
I don’t care what’s going on.
God won’t let it last too long,
And you’re not in this thing alone.
You can make it!
First published — November 3, 2011.
~ Robert Blackburn