Take me back

Step 11: Choose to rid ourselves of any attitude that is not bathed in gratitude.

Take me back, take me back dear Lord
To the place where I first received you.
Take me back, take me back dear Lord where I
First believed.   – Andrae Crouch

Where were you when you had your first real encounter with Jesus and you first believed? It was the undeniable presence of the Holy Spirit in your life. It was an encounter with the supernatural; there’s no other way to explain this experience; you could not have talked yourself into this. This was God. There is no other explanation.

I went back there this weekend and I’ve been full of thanks ever since. It’s a renewal. It’s really important. It takes a conscious effort to bring up something from your subconscious memory and experience it again. It takes some meditation — some stepping away from the current pressures to focus on a former time. You want to recreate the sights, sounds and smells that were associated with this experience. This was the beginning. This isn’t magic or nostalgia. This is remembering when God broke through and got you — God’s intervention in your life. Nothing’s ever been the same since. It’s a lot like falling in love.

For me, I had to go a long way back to when I was eight years old. It doesn’t matter that I was just eight. It matters that it was real. My mother, bless her heart, had been praying for me since before I was born. She was like Hannah in the Old Testament and Elizabeth in the New who prayed that if God would give them sons, they would give the child back to Him to serve Him in the temple, which they did. One was Samuel, the other was John the Baptist. I can remember my mother down on her knees with me praying that God would take me and do His will in my life. So it was that when I was eight, and we were standing in church singing, “Just As I Am” after just seeing a Billy Graham movie, I emotionally came apart. The pastor was inviting people to come forward and receive Christ like Billy Graham had done in the movie, and that was good enough for me. There was no way I could stay where I was. And when I glanced at my mother, she had this look on her face that could only mean, “It’s time; this is it.” I was done. God was calling me, and I said “Yes.”

I almost didn’t share these details with you because I didn’t want you comparing your experience with mine, but I couldn’t help but tell you, because it’s like it just happened. And that’s the value of remembering. If you can go back to where God broke in on your life, well … He hasn’t left. You can reaffirm Him in your life now.

And the result of this remembering has been a good deal of thanks on my part. It’s guaranteed that you will be filled with gratitude as a result of recalling the former days. And then you take that gratitude on into what He has planned for you today. I’m feeling a lot like an eight-year-old right now.

David once prayed, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.” (Psalm 51:12-13).

I feel that I’m so far from you Lordth-26
But still I hear you calling me
Those simple things that I once knew,
The memories are drawing me.
I must confess, Lord I’ve been blessed
But yet my soul’s not satisfied.
Renew my faith, restore my joy
And dry my weeping eyes.

Take me back, take me back dear Lord
To the place where I first received you.
Take me back, take me back dear Lord where I
First believed.   – Andrae Crouch






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1 Response to Take me back

  1. I will never forget reading the Gospel of John and having the words jump off the page into my mind and heart. I was led to accept Jesus as my Savior on a dreary day in February in 1969! Oakland Ca, Brookside Baptist Church, right in the middle of a time of great change. I was aware of my sin and presented with a solution! Only Christ and his work on the cross. I am thankful for that day in my life!

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