Does this sound familiar? Sunday after Sunday during alter call, the Pastor says something like, “everyone bow your head and close your eyes... if you would like to join the church, give your life to Christ, rededicate your life or if you need prayer, the doors of the church are open, come,” Can’t you see Him standing up there with His arms outstretched? After some time the Pastor will end the alter call by saying something like, “it’s mine to extend and your’s to accept or reject.” When you lift your head up you see the many souls at the alter, but one of them draws your attention...Sister SoandSo. She’s back up at the alter AGAIN! You may be thinking, “Why?” “What’s her problem now?” “We all know how this is going to play out.”
STOP 🛑 ! Let me pause for a second here and state my disclaimer: this is not the mindset of everyone. This blog post should not deter anyone from responding to the tug that God has on their heart during alter call time or any other time frankly, because they are concerned about what others may be thinking or what other’s may say. All that should matter is you answering to God’s call. PERIODT!
Now back to my story.
You later find out (yes, church people do gossip) that sister SoandSo was back at the alter to ask for prayer and to be delivered from negative and harmful thoughts, AGAIN. You think, well, that was the same thing she sought deliverance for like 10 times already. Something must be wrong with Sister SoandSo because she just can’t seem to hold on to her deliverance.
This is the mindset of a lot of people. I’ll be transparent and say, growing up and seeing the same people going up to the alter Sunday after Sunday and asking for prayer for the same thing over and over made me wonder what was wrong with them. It wasn’t until I accompanied my husband to a church he was working at many years ago that I was exposed to Biblical teachings that I’ve never been exposed to before. The church I grew up in was a great church! The teaching I received created a firm spiritual foundation within me and really molded me to be the person that I am today. We were allowed to ask questions, express ourselves as well as participate in healthy biblical debates. The teenage Sunday School classes were magical! Those were the days! However, as a person grows (I hope you’re growing) in their spiritual walk and goes deeper (I pray you’re going deeper) in Christ we realize that there are a lot of things that we still have yet to learn and some of the things that we were taught we now have to unlearn them.
Now back to Sister SoandSo.
Is something wrong with her? Yes? No? Maybe so? I don’t think that anything is wrong with her, however, I do believe that Sister SoandSo does have a problem. I think that Sister SoandSo wasn’t taught that being delivered required regular maintenance. Let me explain. Being delivered is an act...it’s something that happens immediately. The Bible says, “the righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles,” Psalms 34:17 However, remaining in a state of deliverance requires work. We have to be mindful that just because we’ve been delivered from something doesn’t mean that it won’t try to come back to reel us back in. Temptations are guaranteed to happen (Luke 22:40, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Matthew 26:41), but how we deal with those temptations is the key to maintaining our deliverance. You see, just like we have to bring our car to the maintenance man for routine oil changes and just as we should see our health care providers for yearly health exams we must maintenance our spiritual man also. I’ll say boldly that if you think that attending church regularly is all you need to make sure that your spirit man is functioning properly you’re sadly mistaken. There should be daily private maintenance happening. Reading the Bible, daily devotion, daily prayer, spending time with likeminded people, guarding your mind, eyes and ears from things that don’t build you up. These are all examples of daily maintenance.
So how can Sister Soandso be helped?
Mind your business. If you can’t offer Sister Soandso careful, compassionate and Christ centered instructions and you’re not qualified or equipped to help her, don’t offer your opinion.
Don’t judge her. We’ve all been there before, we all struggle with something. Pray that God gives her whatever it is that she needs.
Education. When our spiritual light of understanding is turned on it makes all of the difference. Maybe it’s time for Sister Soandso to seek new spiritual counseling or leadership.
What I’ve learned is that when the clouds clear and all of the happenstance surrounding our “deliverance experience” fades, and we begin to fall back into the arms of whatever it was that had a hold on us, we may begin to think that we’re no longer delivered and something must be wrong with us. Without the proper teaching post deliverance, we’ll continually think this way. If God said that you are delivered then guess what? YOU’RE DELIVERED! Temptation will come, arrows will be sent your way, traps have already been set up to capture you, however, with daily maintenance of your spirit man those things will regret that they even knew you.
Let’s say a quick prayer:
Lord, thank you that you are a God that you cannot lie! That let’s me know that when you delivered me from _____________ I was truly delivered. I believe it. I accept it. And I walk freely in my deliverance from ___________. Lord, when distractions, temptations, self doubt, weapons and negative words come towards me, remind me that your word says that no weapon formed against me shall prosper, I have the power to condemn every negative word that comes against me and that I am more than a conquer through Christ. Lord thank you for what you are doing in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.