August 13, 2022

A Dangerous Place to Be!

Key Verse to Read and Treasure

When then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? (Jeremiah 8:5, ESV)

For Insight

I heard someone say not long ago that the term “backsliding” was not correct or Scriptural. The Bible shows otherwise. It’s neither outdated, misspoken, false doctrine or false teaching, but a real position we can find ourselves in if we persist in going our own way and disregarding God.

The term “backsliding” comes from the Hebrew and simple means continuation in a behavior contrary to human experience and common sense. Meaning even after we have suffered consequences from certain behaviors or participating in sinful activities, we know are contrary to human well-being and God’s laws, we keep returning or doing that thing which is counterproductive to common sense. Perhaps that’s why St. Peter wrote “whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of time in the flesh no longer for human passions but the will of God.” (I Peter 4:1-2)  

Backsliding is not just falling off the holy wagon for a bit then returning, more than having a sin-slip and coming back to our senses but involves a person turning away from the Lord to follow his or her own way. Where not even the fear of God or what the consequences of our persistent behavior might be is present. So hard set and determined to do one’s own thing that even after suffering severely or experiencing chastisement from God, they keep going deeper and deeper without a care. Sometimes we may have seen this kind of behavior referred to as apostasy. The place where our passions become our master and we abandon our previous faith or loyalty to God. No matter what we call it, it’s not a good place to be.  

Like any loving parent—but greater than that—God does not want to have to punish those he loves. He holds out if he can because it hurts him to have to chastise us so severely—but He knows when he can’t wait any longer because we are in a hardened place and in danger of losing our eternity with Him. God makes provision for us to return to him after we sin and promises to forgive us when we pray for forgiveness, but he won’t allow us to stay on a path he knows is harmful to us now or for eternity.       

Praying Jeremiah 8:5

God, its easier than we think to leave the path of salvation and righteousness secured through Jesus Christ. Daily we face temptations and are in danger of being overcome by sin and the devil if we don’t stay close to You. Don’t let us turn away from You or go down our own path, led by our passions and uncaring, but may we always live to please You and spend eternity with You. Amen    

Prayer Challenge

Talk to God about your personal struggles and danger zones.    

Digging Deeper

Read Psalm 25:10-15

Read Jeremiah 14:7

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