Many folks leaving the Church, often do so with much hurt, anger, resentment and bitter disappointment.
Many times they never plan to return. Those who have been in ministry of any kind never suspect that one day, somewhere down the road, they will feel the call and tugging of the heart to once again move in the Spirit as they are directed.
There’s something about human nature that, when we reach the point that we feel we have failed, that everything we held dear and believed in has gone wrong, we often make a one hundred and eighty degree turn in the other direction.
It is not possible to sort out all of the good and bad when your heart has been broken in such a manner. Almost with complete abandon, we cast aside all of the things we have been taught in an effort to establish a new belief system, something totally different than what we had before.
Too many times, our new mates and friends are those who are as far away from our old convictions as we can find.
In choosing a mate or another relationship, it is not uncommon to pick someone who is exactly opposite of who we loved and cared about before. We think, “if the first didn’t work before, why choose the same kind of person?”
So many of us know very little about the middle of the road. Somehow, our instruction in daily living taught us to be always extreme, either all one way or the other.
Like teenagers who have been restrained in too many areas, we make the decision to try everything we were told not to do when we get the first chance.
Too often, the results can even be catastrophic. We end up being a person we never intended to be, wrapped in misery and disappointment again.
To those who never intended to return to ministry or the church in general, there is a message here for you.
Recall that old statement we heard so many times, “once you have tasted….” There is nothing like the moving of the Spirit in your life, there is no equal.
For Pentecostals, music has always been a part of our being and frankly, there was no other kind like it.
The upbeat way of worship and the deep beautiful singing is really unparalleled. It will always be a part of you and I can assure you that you will miss it, almost without exception.
The real deal is, nothing else will satisfy your soul.
It doesn’t matter about some things we have been taught. Once you are a child of the King, you remain His and no matter how far you may roam, you will find yourself drawn back to that same place at the foot of the Cross.
It is absolutely true that He never leaves or forsakes us.
When the Spirit begins tugging on you to return to your ministry or the old fashioned worship, you may be in for a rough ride if you did choose someone totally different than who you were.
They may absolutely want nothing to do with your “religion” or that crazy kind of worship.
Most often, they feel intimidated and even jealous as though what you are being drawn back to takes you away from them. More seriously, they may simply not believe in some of the things you do and want no part of Spirit-filled church doings.
It doesn’t help that many people have been totally turned off by what they have seen on television and you are left without good examples for them.
It’s a fine line to walk, because you are trying to sort out just what you can believe in again for yourself; what you feel is scriptural and balanced and what is only some man-made rule that even you do no wish to follow.
Sadly, your companion may even put your entire relationship on the line if you in any way act or participate in anything remotely kin to your old faith.
For many, this return to our spiritual roots will happen whether we expect it to or not. I am a witness here.
But you cannot just jump from one relationship to another, looking for another person closer to your prodigal self.
Hear me, that you can be torn by the desire to feel the Spirit moving in your life and the love you have for your spouse.
You see, the Spirit called you and there’s little you can do about that. Life can truly become miserable for anyone in such dire straights.
You’ll often wish to just throw up your hands and push back those old spiritual feelings and settle for keeping your life the way it has been, even if your new relationship has not always been the best.
You must pray for Wisdom like you never have before. Patience is not just a simple word you know, but the greatest tool needed in such a situation.
I can assure you that your dependence on God will grow more than you ever thought possible.
If that person in your life is truly an unbeliever, the enemy will work full time through that person to discourage and absolutely stop you in your tracks.
Since they may not really know anything about the old time gospel, they will not realize or even believe that they are being used by the devil to torment you or prevent you from returning to the LORD’s work.
They do not want you to change in any way because too often you find that you do not wish to participate in some of the activities you once did together.
Ingrained deeply within most of us are old truths and concepts that we never forget, even when we try.
Remember that old verse, “train up a child in the way it should go…..” I’m not talking about fanatical or extreme laws and “do-not”s, but basic Christian principles that never fail or lose their value.
His love for mankind, the giving of His life for us and the promise that the infilling of the Holy Spirit is the greatest comfort anyone can have.
You will lead by example. In the same way the scripture talks about those with unsaved spouses, the person you are with may come to know God through your actions, not what you preach.
Know this also. If you are truly called and anointed of God and have somehow strayed from that calling, the Spirit is quite busy in your life.
Those who touch God’s anointed will pay a price. I can’t talk today about how sad it is to see God punish your companion because they have set their heart and face against what God wants you to do.
You will watch them suffer over and again. And you will know it is because of you.
You feel so much for them, because you know what kind of person you were when you met them, and they accepted you on that basis, not as the person reaching for more of Him today.
Hold on. Just hold on. Sometimes that’s all you can do. If you have gone full circle with this and learned first hand that the Gifts and calling of God are not revoked, then you have no choice but to press forward.
God called some of us before we were born and that which is in us will never die, no matter what.
The only answer seems to go even further and deeper into the realm of the Spirit than ever before. There are some things that only the absolute dynamic power of the Holy Ghost can change.
Somewhere there was a plan and no matter if we somehow strayed from that plan, whether we did it through hurt or confusion or coercion, God’s plan may not have changed at all.
Maybe He lets us live in some form of mediocrity or maybe He has other plans for us but not being called is not one of them.
Love. Love more than you ever have before, not just to your mate but to everyone.
Your true self will emerge and if your soul mate cares anything about you at all, they cannot help but see you are sincere and that you are for real.
It may be an uphill battle but we must never forget that the battle is not ours to begin with.
God bless you on your journey. Keep reaching for Him and never forget, “with God, nothing is impossible!”
First published: October 19, 2011.
~ Robert Blackburn