By: David F. Gray
QUESTION: I do not know what has happened to me. I have been filled with the Holy Ghost a little less than one year, and for the last month or so I have had no feeling and no joy. I cannot seem to pray. I do not know that I have done wrong, but the devil tells me I committed the unpardonable sin. I am getting desperate. Can you help me?
ANSWER: You are going through what has been termed the “wilderness experience,” which is taken from the account in Matthew 4:1 where “…Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be
tempted of the devil.” This experience is not a rare one; in fact, many new Christians go through similar episodes.
I think it is important for those newly saved to expect some such incident to occur in their lives, and to know how to face it and come through victoriously. We are told in 1 Peter 4-:12: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.”
It is important that we understand that trials and temptations are necessary experiences for every Christian. Yours is not a unique experience from those which thousands of others go through continually. In fact, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that “…there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man…” God leads everyone through the wilderness at some stage of his walk with God.
It may seem at times that the Lord withdraws from us for a season. This is to see if we really love the Lord, or if we are only serving Him for the blessings, for the loaves and fishes that He gives us (see John 6:26). This is a trial of our faith (I Peter 1:7). If we continue to love and serve Him, even when we do not
feel His Presence, the Lord sees that we really mean business, and He will eventually bring us out of the trial and bless us again.
May I assure you that you have not committed the unpardonable sin even though the devil tells you that you have. Jesus said concerning the devil that “…he is a liar and the father of it.” (John 8:44). How can you believe a liar?
If the condemnation Satan is trying to put on you were because you had committed some sin and was, therefore, from the Lord, the Holy Ghost would be careful to convict you and with that conviction
plainly pinpoint what the wrong was that you had committed. For, believe me, God is “…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (1 Peter 3:9). Therefore, He puts His finger right on the wrongdoing so that you would know what to repent of.
But when condemnation comes that you cannot connect to any wrong or sinful action in your life, you will know it is not from God at all, but it is something Satan is trying to get you to accept. If Satan cannot get you to sin, his accusation will cause you to live in fear and doubt, your faith is gone and you cannot believe God. That is exactly what Satan is trying to do to you.
What are you to do? Here are some very important pointers: Refuse to be discouraged. The devil is a liar. Yield yourself to God, then “resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Do not become self-centered. Pray with others; and while you are blessing others, all of a sudden you will find that God is
blessing you. You will have come through your trial victoriously. Until that happens keep praising God and tell Him that you love Him.
Never doubt it, victory will come.
I know whereof I speak – I went through a similar experience in my early Christian life. Rather than go into my experience, however, let me briefly relate that of my own mother, which I think, illustrates this better than anything else I have heard of.
In the early days of her Christian experience, my mother like you, was tormented by the devil for an extended period of time, with the lying accusation that she must have committed the unpardonable sin, and therefore, God had turned His back on her. When she tried to pray she was as cold as stone, and her words choked in her throat, and those she uttered seemed to rise only as far as the ceiling and bounce back. Not knowing any better, she finally agreed with the lie of the devil that she must have committed the unpardonable sin. Remember, she was a young Christian, and had no one she felt she could turn to for help.
After several days of fear and torment, she came to a decision. She cried out to the Lord, “Lord, even though I have committed the unpardonable sin, and though I will never again feel your love, or your mercy, or your joy, I still love you and will serve you all the days of my life. I love you even though I wind up in hell.” And she determined to serve the Lord even though she believed that she would never again feel God.
She went to a revival meeting but never felt a thing. Many souls came to the altar with tears streaming down their faces. She determined she would help someone find God even though she was convinced that she was lost herself. She began praying with someone at the altar, helping them to seek God. Suddenly while praying for them, the Spirit of the Lord came upon her for the first time in months and she was caught up in the Spirit and blessed in a marvelous way. The Lord let her know the devil had lied to her, and He gave her Isaiah 54:5-8 to reassure her. She never doubted God again. She had come through her test successfully.
So, hold on child of God. Do not doubt God, and He will bring you out into a great victory!
Let us recap and summarize:
1. All Christians are tempted, tested, and tried; and we are not to consider it a strange thing.
2. Sometimes God, as it were, will withdraw His Presence for a season, to determine if you are truly sincere in serving the Lord, or if you are going to serve Him only as long as He does things for you.
3. You are tried as to the depth of your love for God.
4. If Satan cannot get you to sin, his trick is to make you think that you have, and he will torment you with accusations.
5. Of course you must search your heart to find if you have sinned.
6. If you have not sinned, you know then that condemnation is from the devil because it has no basis in fact.
7. Start praising God. Be faithful to every service. Pray with souls at the altar. Resist the devil. Tell God you love Him and will serve Him if He never blesses you again. Keep telling Him you love Him, and keep praising Him when you don’t feel like it.
If you will do these things you will come out of this trial with greater victory than when you went in! You will come out as God’s Word has promised, “…MORE than conquerors…” (Romans 8:37)!
(The above material appeared in the July 1992 issue of Trumpet.)
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