So, you believe that as warriors for the King of Kings, you are all part of ONE unit right? Yep, that is what I thought too….until recently. Within the military, your achievements and skills, following orders and good conduct all go toward whether you are promoted. Those promotions are for both the non-coms as well as the officers. The reverse is also true! Nothing, but NOTHING is as embarrassing as watching a fellow soldier “lose their stripes”. It can cause a loss of morale in the unit and it certainly negatively impacts the one who is “rir’ed”…or reduced in rank.
The Bible is VERY clear that no matter what we do – short of grieving the Holy Spirit – we are forgiven by our Heavenly Father. IF we truly repent, confess our sin(s) and ask Him to cleanse us anew. Remember when the disciples came to Jesus and asked how many times they were to forgive each other?. Jesus’ answer was in essence, to infinity and beyond! After all, He does doesn’t He? Well, permit me to ask you…does forgiving each other follow the same line? Does forgiveness include FORGETTING and encouraging full restoration to the “unit”? By my reading of Scripture – example after example is given that the answer to both questions is a resounding YES!!!!
Imagine, if you will, that you and I are in the early church in Jerusalem. The news comes that another Israelite has come to Yeshua!!..We cheer and thank God……..then the newsbearer tells us his name. PAUL???? You mean THE Paul?….the hunter and murderer of believers?? NO WAY am I going to accept him! You can understand that we would naturally feel this way!
Well, my dear fellow soldiers, I AM THAT SOLDIER. I have been “reduced in rank” – and for a while I felt I was completely dishonourably discharged from His army. My sin – that hurt a number of His children – ones who trusted me and counted me as one of them – caused that reduction in status. I KNOW I am forgiven. I KNOW that I have repented and confessed that sin to those I wronged. ( Now don’t go getting all curious and focusing on the “Gee! I wonder what it was??” That doesn’t matter! What I have been feeling is COMPLETE ostracization. Am I feeling a bit sorry for myself?. Yeah, you could say that. I am – on humbled knee asking those who read my blog to accept me once again.
I am asking to be part of the unit once more. I know I will not ever achieved the “rank” I once had. That is okay. There is an old adage that goes like this: So, dear believers…can you do that? Can you accept a fallen warrior once again?