READ : Galatians 4:8-11
Two of the saddest words in the English language are found in our Scripture lesson today. They are turning back. When someone turns back, she gives up on goals. She returns to a lesser good she decided to leave behind. She no longer hopes to reach the higher good. The Israelites, once freed from the slavery of Egypt, wanted to “turn back” (Numbers 14:3). The author of Hebrews warned the early Christians not to turn back (Heb. 10:38). Galatian believers, who had come to know the joy of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, wanted to turn back to their old beliefs and their old ways. This is the temptation that all new believers in Jesus Christ face.
I think of prisoners who wrote me in response to Words of Hope Meditations previously written. They rejoiced in their new-found Christian faith. But they feared that, once out of prison and faced again with past temptations, they would turn back.
To overcome “turning back,” stay close to the Lord. Find a warm, loving, accepting church in which you can fellowship with like-minded people. Get into a Bible study group that holds you accountable. Believe that God has plans for you, “ . . . to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).
Holy Spirit of God, keep me not only from turning back but help me to move ahead in my Christian walk. Amen