Is there no Balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wounded of my people? Jer. 8:22 states these people were believers. God will always send a Jeremiah, a prophet, to warn His people and bring to them the Balm of Gilead … if they have ears to hear.
Sometimes it takes a lifetime to see how far God has brought you. His providence over your life leads you to places and protects you over and over again. However, there are Christian brothers and sisters who have simply given up the fight to move forward with their faith. They find their offense is too hard to forgive, temptation is too great, their hurt is too painful, trust is broken over a betrayal of a friend or pastor…And, the list can go on. I have wonderful memories of friends who once walked as leaders in the church with strong Christian faith, but forgot that it comes with a price.
Paul says, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame who set their mind on earthly things.” Philippians 3:14-19 Paul is telling us that those who have lost their way will end in destruction. It is hard sometimes to comprehend that a believer can once walk with Christ and then become an enemy to Christ in their lifetime.
Are we doomed to repeat the sins of our mothers and fathers? Do we read the Bible and take it for only a storybook? The history of God’s Word is clear there are those chose to follow Christ and those who simply walked away in their sin. The wheat and the tares were where one is taken and one is left behind. I, for one do not want to see my brother or sister left behind wandering as lost or hurting sheep without seeking them out to love them back into a relationship with Jesus.
I have family and friends who once walked with the Lord only to give into their selfish desires. They live in shame and guilt – a pit they think they cannot climb out of – this pit holds them in bondage. Here comes the hard part… I will reach out my hand once more in love again and again. I admit it is often discouraging and at times frustrating to watch a person cycle in their sin expecting a different result. I am reminded that Jesus, The Good Shepherd, seeks out the one sheep that has lost his way to bring them back to the fold. “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” Luke 15:4
My husband, Steve, and I are asking the Lord how we can reach out to those lost sheep. First, I believe it begins with prayer and fasting for the Holy Spirit to direct us. Second, I believe you must have a relationship before you can speak into someone’s life. Spend time with them. Jesus says if they are hungry… feed them. If they are without clothes, clothe them. And thirdly, it takes perseverance. There are hurting people who need love, relationship and yes, maybe some direction to return to their first love – Jesus Christ.
Pray for one another: I challenge you to ask the Holy Spirit to bring just one person to your mind and pray for them. Make a phone call, send them a Facebook message to be a friend, or meet them for lunch/ visit. If you see a door open for relationship, send a card/text simply saying you are thinking of them and God loves them. Shower them with the love of Christ. The fruit of this relationship may take time…Oh, but for that one sheep… it is all worth it.
Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people. Jeremiah 9:1