“For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers to teach to the children, that the coming generation would know them-even children yet to be born-to arise and tell their own children that they should put their confidence in God, not forgetting His works, but keeping His commandments. Then they will not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose heart was not loyal, whose spirit was not faithful to God.” -Psalm 78:5-8
Note the contrast in these verses. Those who have hope have put their confidence in God. They are the ones who are trusting in God, believing in Him, following His commands and laws. They are the ones having communion with God. Then, there are the rebellious and stubborn. Those who are hostile and defiant toward God. They are without loyalty or faithfulness.
Let me just talk about backsliding for a few moments. The Bible says this about turning back (backsliding), “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him,” (Proverbs 26:11-12).
We are to guard our heart because every decision, every issue of life flows out of our hearts. So, the Scriptures warn us and command us to guard our heart will all diligence. We are told to be sober minded as well, clear headed. Backsliding occurs when a person is set on living a life of impurity. Backsliding can happen when we begin making the smallest of compromises. “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself,” (Proverbs 14:14). The English word “backslider” comes from the transliteration of the Hebrew word, “sûḡ,” which means “apostatize.” Apostasy means to embrace lies instead of truth. Backsliders are those who fall from grace. They are those that apostatize. They are the ones who deviate from the narrow road onto the broad road that leads to destruction. Backsliders go back to their sins just like a dog returns to its own vomit. Backsliders are those who get what they deserve; they will eat the fruit of their own way (Proverbs 1:31). They are filled with their own devices, insistent on living a life of immorality and impurity.
For those who backslide and believe they will have time to come back to God, we are not guaranteed our next breath. We don’t know if we will have another chance to repent or come clean before God simply because we are not guaranteed our next breath. God does NOT play games. I’ve said this before I will say it again: there is no neutral ground when it comes to living for God. We must remain steadfast, press forward, without looking back. We must keep our eyes fixed Jesus, looking straight ahead. Don’t look to the right or the left. Continue onward in holiness and righteousness.
“My son, pay attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not lose sight of them; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to the whole body. GUARD YOUR HEART WITH ALL DILIGENCE, FOR FROM IT FLOW SPRINGS OF LIFE. Put away deception you’re your mouth; keep your lips from perverse speech. Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. Make a level path for your feet, and all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your feet away from evil,” (Proverbs 4:20-27)
Our hope is found in Jesus. He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith. He is our Risen Lord and Savior. Those who are putting their faith and trust in Him, believing in Him as their Redeemer will not be put to shame. Our hope is found in no other. Our hope is found in nothing else. Look to Jesus. Obey the commands of the Lord, and march forward, Saints of the God. He alone is our Hope and our Salvation.
Linda A. Knowles