The Way Back

by Andy Wood on November 11, 2011

in Insight, Life Currency, LV Cycle, Protecting Your Investment, Turning Points, Words

Perdido Key, Florida.  I was in a hotel room, desperately reading my Bible, even more desperately crying out to God.  Somewhere along the way I had, well, lost my way.  And I couldn’t find my way back.

Back to a consistently focused walk with God.

Back to a first-love commitment to Jesus.

Back to a sense of spiritual usefulness and power.

Back to a faith that could at least move me, even when it couldn’t move mountains.

Back to the hope that somehow tomorrow could actually be better than today.

I could have told you how to find your way back to wherever you left your path.  But I was lost as last year’s Easter egg when it came to me.

I heard all the things I already knew in my head.  Didn’t help.

I heard all the platitudes and steps and methods I’d told others and they had told me.  Ditto.

I heard all the sermons I had preached to others about coming back to Jesus, and they were profoundly useless to me.

And what I was reading in the Bible wasn’t helping much, either.  I kept reading passages in psalms where David would pray things like, “Vindicate me, O God, because I have walked in my integrity.”

I didn’t have any integrity.  And the last thing I needed to see in that situation was vindication.  Justice either.

In desperation I silently cried out, “God!  Is there a verse in there for the rest of us?”

And He showed me something that changed my life.

He took me to a passage that, when I read it, I just had to read it again, and again, and again.  As I read it, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Wave after wave of grace began to sweep over me.  And in His faithfulness and love, the Holy Spirit began to turn a light on and show me the way home.

I had hope again.

I had help.

For the first time in months I felt as though I had life surging through my veins.

I began to see truth I had glossed over because I never really needed to see it before.  I felt as though I was taken back to the kindest, gentlest of schools and given a lifetime scholarship.

I would like to share with you what the Lord shared with me that day, and the many days following as He continued to unpack the meaning of two simple verses.  Of all people, they came from a prophet – a man of God! – who had stumbled badly.  Read them… and let them read you:

Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;

When I fall, I will arise;

When I sit in darkness,

The LORD will be a light to me.

I will bear the indignation of the LORD,

Because I have sinned against Him,

Until He pleads my case

And executes justice for me.

He will bring me forth to the light;

I will see His righteousness (Micah 7:8-9, NKJV).

If you take your relationship with God seriously,you need to remember two things.  First, you are in a war.  The Christian life isn’t all green pastures and still waters.  There are important reasons that Paul and others repeatedly used warfare imagery to describe the life of a Christ follower.  And if that offends you, go ahead and wave the white flag now; you’re already beaten.

Second, chances are, sooner or later, you are going to be wounded in that battle.  One day you are going to be too careless, too proud, or too unguarded, and the arrows of the enemy are going to land in you.  And the more convinced you are of your own strength, the harder you will land when you hit the ground.

What I began to learn that day is that the measure of a Christian is not whether or not they ever fall.  The measure of a Christian is what they do when they’re on the ground, bleeding from the attacks of the enemy, with no one to blame but themselves.

Anybody can punch out at that point.  Anybody can crawl into a cave of despair or shame.  But what I learned day after day in that hotel room is that Jesus died for “Christian” failures just like me.  Oh, and you, too.

A Way to Remember the Way Home

As the truth behind Micah’s declaration began to unfold, I asked the Lord for a way to remember what He was teaching me so I could light the way home for others.  He was gracious, and here is what I learned, based on this passage.  I encourage you to memorize this:

I’m gonna get up when I get knocked down.

I’m gonna be led when I cannot see.

I’m gonna face up to the way I’ve sinned.

And the Lord’s gonna win the fight for me.

In the next post I will dig a little deeper and hopefully shine a little brighter light on the way back.

Why?

Because you need it.  Now or later.

Because I know what I’m talking about.  I’ve lived it.  And I’m here to tell you your life does not have to be measured by your wounds or your failures.

Because I don’t want to see yet another believer left wounded on the battlefield with nobody to help.

Because I don’t ever want to have another friend look at me and say, as one did recently, “I know my life isn’t all God wants it to be, but I don’t know how to find my way back.”

Because I’m sick to death of the Christian army shooting its own wounded.

Years ago, in his first solo album, Steve Green recorded a song that now you have to dig a little to find.  But find it I did, and I wanted you to hear it.  It’s called “Wounded Soldier” and you can hear it here.  I also printed the lyrics below.

Listen.  With your heart.  Pray.  Someone near you has gone down in the battle, and they’ve lost their way.

Next time, it could be you.

Wounded Soldier

See all the wounded

Hear all their desperate cries for help.

Pleading for shelter and for peace

Our comrades are suffering –

Come let us meet them at their need

Don’t let a wounded soldier die

Come let us pour the oil

Come let us bind the hurt

Let’s cover them with the blanket of His love

Come let us break the bread

Come let us give them rest

Let’s minister healing to them

Don’t let another wounded soldier die.

Obeying their orders,

They fought on the fronlines for our King

Capturing the enemy’s stronghold

Weakened from battle,

Satan crept in to steal their lives

Don’t let a wounded soldier die.

Come let us pour the oil

Come let us bind the hurt

Let’s cover them with the blanket of His love

Come let us break the bread

Come let us give them rest

Let’s minister healing to them

Don’t let another wounded soldier die.

Let’s minister healing to them

Don’t let another wounded soldier die.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Pam November 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm

I love your transparency in the battle. Truthfulness is, oddly enough, a bit of a rarity in christendom. This piece is raw and real and powerful – a reflection of your own heart. Miss you!

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