Backsliding is such a terrible condition that any child of God who backslides must quickly seek for restoration. The danger with backsliding is that a backslider may perish with his or her enemies like Samson did, or lose all he or she had gained in God like Judas Iscariot (Judges 16:30, Acts 1:16-20). The good news is that God has provided a remedy for backsliding. In today’s Bible reading, we see the loving God calling and inviting backsliding Israel back to Himself. This is a pointer to the fact that God wants to restore all backsliders.
“Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every tree and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:” Jeremiah 3:13-14
The above verses of scripture contain the cure for backsliding. Restoration for the backslider starts with an acknowledgment of sins and a contrite return to God. In other words, the cure to backsliding lies in genuine repentance. Repentance is a complete turnaround from one’s sins with a determination never to return to those sins any more. This was what Samson failed to do throughout his twenty years of being judge over Israel. To make matters worse, he always ascribed his victory and achievement to his strength. Hear what he said after one of his victories in Judges 15:16
“….With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.”
There is no record of him giving glory to God even once. When he should have prayed for mercy, he prayed a wrong prayer, asking God to strengthen him one more time, so that he could avenge his eyes! Due to the mercy of God, and because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, God still granted him his request, and he died with his enemies (Romans 11:29, Judges 16:28-30). In Acts 3:19, we see some of the great benefits of repentance. These included forgiveness, the blotting out of sins and the experience of a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. Beloved, are you in a backslidden state? I encourage you to return to God through the Lord Jesus Christ today. Read 1st John 2:1-2 for a better understanding of your heritage in Christ. As you do these, the joy of salvation and the victory over sin will be restored to you.
Action Point: Pray for restoration if you are a backslider. If by His grace you are still standing, pray that you will not backslide, and also pray for all backsliders in the Body of Christ that you know.
Pastor E.A Adeboye (Open Heavens Daily Devotional, Friday April 21st, 2017)