Deuteronomy 30:2-3: 2 and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you.
The book of Deuteronomy is a farewell address given by Moses to the children of Israel. Moses is approaching the end of his life and the children of Israel are going where he can not follow.
Deuteronomy 34:4: 4 Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.”
At the age of 120, Moses is passing along wisdom; wisdom born of a relationship with God. He foresaw Israel’s enslavement by other nations, their apostasy and outright rejection of God as well as the nation itself being scattered to all corners of the earth. All of these things did happen to the children of Israel. They were enslaved, scattered, and slaughtered; this has been so through out time. I wonder how many of those listening to Moses that day scoffed at the old man? How many thought he had finally lost it. I can hear them as they listen saying, “Ok sure , doesn’t he know? We will be crossing the river soon and we will be home. God is with us! What does he mean God will bring us back? God is here!” Before we look down our noses at the Israelites, let us take stock of ourselves. If I could see you I’m sure you would nod sheepishly were I to ask if you had ever scoffed at or flat ignored solid advice and been worse off for it. In my bible, the 30th chapter is titled, The Blessing of Returning to God. Before one can return to something one must first fall away, leave, or somehow distance themselves for that thing. As a believer, I cannot imagine a life, an existence, where Jesus wasn’t the primary focus. But, when I take stock of my life, when I view it in total, I know there was a time when I made a conscious decision to turn my back on the Father. From that point forward my existence was ensnared by the things of this world. My story involves a single moment when I walked away from God. For most people, that moment is not so definitive. Instead, the fall is made up of small decisions, small compromises; the end result being a life that does not reflect the love of Jesus. There is a church word for this: backslidden. Proverbs 14:14: 14 The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied from above.
Leave it to Solomon to sum it up. The backslidden life is characterized by a loss of focus. the backslidden life is a heart issue. in a nutshell, the backslidden Christian decides that other things are more important than living life for the glory of God in relationship with Christ. Once those things, whatever they are, take hold the process is complete. That person who was once sold out for the things of God, is now sold out for the world and all its trappings, temptations and darkness.
If anyone is reading this thinking you have the God thing covered; you can go out and have a bit of fun and then come back to the Lord on Sunday; let me tell you from personal experience, you can not toy with darkness. It will swallow you whole. 1 John 1:6: 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
Have you backslidden? Are you contemplating a worldly choice even as you read this? If either of theses is true, let me encourage you. God wants you to come home. If you look at the condition of your life and say, “I can’t get back to a relationship with God, I’ve done too much.” Be reminded that God loves you! Psalm 103:12: As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Anyone who has fallen need only reach out for the savior of the world. He died for you! Humble yourself, repent, recommit to Jesus, and your sins, whatever they are will be forgiven and forgotten by the king of the universe! No matter where you are today be it a prison cell, or divorce court, a strangers bed sleeping off a hangover or simply at your kitchen table deciding that you can’t do it anymore. Repent, recommit, and reconnect; come home. Return to your first love. Jesus has never left you. He is waiting. Revelation 2:4-5: 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do your first works…
Grace and Peace,
*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at savedIIserve@gmail.com and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*