NO TURNING BACK

January 10, 2017

NO TURNING BACK

The true follower of Christ will do exactly what his/her name implies: they follow. This means, of course, that over the miles of their journey God will take them to new destinations. They will go away from some habits, places, relationships, etc., and into others.

THE BACKWARD PULL

But it is always tempting to go back. The Israelites, traveling to the Promised Land, were pulled in a moment of need to return to the ""leeks and onions"" of Egypt. Jesus in the New Testament reminded his followers that ""no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."" The wise writer of Proverbs says such a turn is often like a ""dog returning to his vomit.""

Recently our church experienced a miraculous step of faith by hundreds of families to begin to give at a new level of generosity, beginning with the tithe. They were called by God to ""Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse"" and test God that ""He would not open the windows of heaven."" I have never seen the depth of such a turn by a whole church in my 47 years of ministry. We have moved to a whole new place and God's promises for this new step are stunning.

That happened in October. I have thought this morning at the temptation, as the New Year begins, of slipping back from this resolve. How easy, in this particular area especially, to subtly slide back into Egypt. To slip out of faith. To turn back.

This is just one of many areas where we will be tempted to go back to the familiar. Why would our enemy not seek to pull us away from those places that illustrate God’s dynamic faithfulness to those who follow Him?

ABRAHAM'S RESOLVE

""The Lord had blessed Abraham in every way,"" Genesis 24:1 records. The reason? When God spoke, Abraham followed in faith. God had led a trusting man into the land of blessings and he was experiencing the fruits of that journey.

And now, close to death, he is seeking a bride for his son, Isaac. He tells his servant to return to his old homeland to find a wife. His servant asked the very practical question: ""Suppose the woman is not willing to follow me to this land; should I take your son back to the land from where you came?"" (Vs. 5).

Abraham's response is immediate and strong: ""Beware that you do not take my son back there!"" (Vs. 6). He says this in the strongest possible language. God had given the land of promise to him and ""to (his) descendants"" and that same God, Abraham said, would provide a wife for his son. But then he says again, ""Only do not take my son back there!"" (Vs. 8)

Abraham knew the depth of faith and resolve it took to get up and follow God into the promised land. He also knew how easy it would be to slide back into the familiar. The old ways, old relationships, and old path.

BEWARE AND BE STRONG!!!!

Perhaps you are being called by some naive friend, (or demonic enemy in disguise), to fall back into the familiar, old ways. Old habits, old pleasures, old relationships, old doubts, old disobediences. Do not give in! Stand strong and firm following Christ into the new places of places He has taken you. The lands that were gained by faith.

""I have decided to follow Jesus,” the old chorus says. ""No turning back, no turning back!""





Also in Graceful Truth

GOD’S LIMITATIONS
GOD’S LIMITATIONS

June 28, 2022

Our limited thoughts about God are our most limiting condition. What we believe about Him determines everything about us: what we think, how we respond, and what we will accomplish in life. It even determines what we believe about ourselves, for we were made in His image. To think less of Him is to dramatically decrease our understanding of our own potential.

Continue Reading

THE FIRST STEP TO WISDOM
THE FIRST STEP TO WISDOM

June 22, 2022

A wise man is not only knowledgeable but has the unique ability to apply the right truth at the right moment in the right way. He is the one you seek when you don’t know what to do. He is the one who speaks little in a meeting, but when he opens his mouth, he has the word that everyone has been waiting for; that clarifies the entire issue in a sentence. As opposed to the brashness of the arrogant, his words carry a depth and solidity and warmth that is unusual and profound.

Continue Reading

ALL THE WAY TO THE FINISH LINE
ALL THE WAY TO THE FINISH LINE

June 21, 2022

This is a consistent principle that God speaks to us repeatedly: if you have an affection for something God has forbidden, it will gradually turn your heart to the god behind that affection. You will not be a man after God's own heart like David was, but a man whose heart is turned away after other gods, like Solomon.

Continue Reading