A dog that returns to its vomit is like a fool who reverts to his folly (Proverbs 26:11)
Some people just like to keep returning to their sinful habits, no matter much you rescue them. They still think that the effect of their wrong choices will carry lesser or no negative effects. However such thinking is just plain wrong and is never supported by the Bible.
26 For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. 28 A man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10: 26-30)
If the Lord God has rescued you from any evil, be very thankful to him. This is one life that you have, don’t let it go waste on the same things Jesus saved you from. Don’t keep presuming that God will keep saving you each time. The Bible clearly warns us not to put the Lord your God to the test. So simply don’t stand in a place of danger trusting in miracles, when God does not approve of you going there. What place am I talking about? Its the place of backsliding (into any sin) which is just one stop before the place of Eternal damnation!
Never go back to bad friends and bad relations
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Come to your right mind, and sin no more. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame. (1 Corinthians 15:33-34)
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. (Proverbs 13:20)
When Jesus saves you from bad friends, don’t walk right back with them, because they will 100% try to entice you to sin. Don’t displease the Lord God who has kept you from those who can ruin your soul with vile and sinful thoughts.
When you know that your past relationship, only made you an alcoholic or and immoral person, that relationship is simply going to lead you nowhere but in more evil things. Not worth your time nor effort, seriously!
Never go back to bad habits or sins
The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied with his. (Proverbs 14:14)
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” ( Matthew 26:41)
But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2)
What pity will people have for the drug addict who keeps doing back to drugs even after being revived several times due to his or her multiple overdoses? Such a drug addict or let me say recovering drug addicts must take help from those not on drugs to remain off such a lifestyle that can harm the body and mind as well.
In a similar way, going back to alcoholism to ‘forget’ your problems won’t make your problems disappear. These will remain and being drunk will only make it more difficult to fix anything.
Talking about both the above examples and all other sins in general including stealing, idolatry, etc you need to stay clear of them all. The same Lord God who rescued you from these sins and bad habits can give you the grace to never fall back into them. All you need to do is faithfully pray to God to give you the strength to remain true to your calling in Jesus Christ.
“Backsliding, generally first begins with neglect of private prayer.” (J. C. Ryle)
Christ be with you!
Do you worship God because you love him? Do you worship God fully focused or are you always distracted?
And Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)
The greatest thing in your love for God is that you worship him. Don’t worship the Lord God the sake of it but do with full involvement of your heart, soul and mind. Here are a few tips to worship God with your heart, soul and mind:
1) Have faith in God
Trying to worship God without believing in Him is completely illogical. And this won’t please God even one bit.
- But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works. (Psalm 73:28)
- And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
2) Repent of all your sins to let your prayers be heard
God is holy and does not desire his worshippers to cling to sin. Repent and ask God for his forgiveness and be determined to do His will.
- We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. (John 9:31)
- Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8)
3) Forgive everyone because its God’s will
Don’t cling to unforgiveness so that you live as per the will of God. Make it point to fully forgive each and everyone who sinned against you. Also, forgive yourself.
- And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”(Mark 11:25)
- Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:12-13)
4) Always love the Lord God
Without love towards God, your worship of God is in vain. Love God in all sincerity when you pray to Him.
- If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2)
- Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. (1 Corinthians 13:8)
5) Focus on the Lord God
Meditate on the goodness of the Lord. By focusing on the Word of God and speaking it in heart and mind you will be more attuned to the things of the Lord by the Holy Spirit. Even if distractions come, rebuke and reject them in the name of Jesus and continue to worship God.
- I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (Psalm 119:15)
- But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:16-17)
A man from another religion once asked me, “I’m willing to join your religion (Christianity) but what’s in for me?”. I responded that he would go to heaven instead of hell after he dies. (This is taking into account that he becomes a Christian who follows and believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and his commandments in the true sense). Here’s how the rest of the conversation went on:
Man : “Is that all you have to offer?”
Myself : “Yes, aren’t you looking forward to everlasting life?”
Man : “Yes but I thought there some benefits more than that”
Myself : “What benefits are you referring to?”
Man : “I mean aren’t you Christians going to give me financial benefits for joining your religion?”
Myself : “No, but we can help you find a job if are unable to get something yourself”
Man : “Alright, I don’t need this religion”
Myself : “Okay fine, I see you made your choice because financial benefits is all you are after!”
Man :”I’ll be able to handle it from here”
Myself : “If you anytime again have thoughts about this, do reach out to the preacher of a church.”
Before all of that conversation started this same man was able to tell me the key principles of the Gospels, he also said he believed in the existence of Jesus and also his holy resurrection! Yet, somewhere down the line, his heart was attracted to the vanities of this world and in his case; the lust for wealth.
Indeed I now realize, ‘the love of money is root of all evil’ (refer 1 Timothy 6:10). I’m not saying you shouldn’t work to sustain yourself or your family nor count yourself a sinner just because you have some wealth. Here the key thing is that you should never be so attached to money that you forsake the Lord God and his commandments!
As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22)
In the case of this man or even I can say in the case of even of those who call them Christians but don’t like it, the deceitfulness of riches choke the true understanding of the Word of God, and so it proves unfruitful ie there is no action nor faith in line with the Word of God. But the love of money is just one of the vanities of life. Some people love to party, excessively that they miss out on praying and reading the Bible, let alone being at Church. Some people want to be famous so bad, that they willing do evil deeds be it violent or sensual just to be showing up on TV, the newspapers and social media in general. While some just want to laze around when it comes to God but are super active in the things of the world such as their jobs, their social status and friend circles, that they miss out both on prayer and good works which have been ordained by God for them.
Make it your choice to reject the vanity of the world and instead follow the Lord Jesus in the true sense of the Word!
Verses for reflection:
- For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. (Mark 8:35)
- For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36)
- And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
- For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
There is no repentance in the grave: there is no conversion after the last breath is drawn. Now is the time to believe in Christ, and to lay hold of eternal life. Now is the time to turn from darkness to light, and to make our calling and election sure. The night comes when no man can work. As the tree falls, there it will lie. If we leave this world refusing to repent and believe, we will rise in the same condition on resurrection morning, and find it would have been “better for us if we had never been born.” – J.C. Ryle