I recently thought about the prodigal son who left his father, was lost in sin and then came back home. It’s amazing to think that when we leave God and come back to Him, He runs, hugs and kisses us, throws a huge feast and clothes us in glory.
I remember my days of being in the world, being in sin and set on a course that I was determined to follow. However, one day I encountered God and everything changed. While my encounter was beautiful, I was suddenly faced with a decision to leave everything I had known and step into something totally new to be with God for the rest of my days. The decisions that I had to make were scary, overwhelming and took a lot of courage. I had to let go of my friends, my aspirations, my goals and my future and just see what God would do.
During all of this however, I had one fear that plagued me.
It was “how do I know I won’t go back to the things of the world…” I thought, “what if I really do all of this, and then somehow I decide to go back… then it would have just been a waste of time.” Satan tried to make me feel as though I wouldn’t last. I had “decided” to follow God before, but never as radically as this. Also, I heard of backsliders, people who were on fire for God and then went crazy and also, people who loved God and then became atheists. I would wonder “how do I know this time it’s for real?”
I believe many other people have experienced fears and doubt plaguing them of returning to the things of the past, but I’ve found some ways to overcome.
Firstly, what I do is, I keep a journal. It’s because temptation can come in a moment and you can make a rash decision, but a journal holds a lifetime of things. In my journal, I write testimonies, I write petitions, I write my hopes and dreams, and I write my cries to God.
Often times, we forget how horrible our life really was in the world.
If you stay on Facebook long enough, just from looking at pictures and reminiscing about the “good times”, you may come to believe that life back then really was good.
But, when you read a journal entry that goes something like “God, I wish knew you were real, my life seems so empty” and then you write about the time you got your heart broken in a relationship, the time your best friends betrayed you and the times no one understood what you were facing, it is a reality check. You suddenly know that your life was not as great as it appeared to be going in pictures.
Thankfully, the year before I got saved, I had started keeping a journal. So, when I got saved and felt tempted to go “enjoy myself” with my friends, I would look back at all the entries where I felt hopeless and depressed and I would know that God was exactly what I needed and that I’d be a fool to go back to anything of the world.
Like I started off saying, I love how the father ran to his son and blessed him so abundantly on his return.
Sometimes, leaving the things of the world behind can be hard, but I really believe that once you make a decision to follow God from your heart or to “get serious”, there are abundant blessings. I believe that if you give God at least two weeks, you will see so many changes.
You will begin to be free from things you never thought you could be free from, you will begin to find more joy and a deeper relationship with Him, opportunities will come up and God will give you a new life. You just have to be willing to take the chance, drop everything, and follow Him. You have to hope in Him and may even have to wait on Him. But, just know that when He sees a son returning, he runs out and showers Him with love and blessings.
Now, after God has blessed you in this way, do you really want to go back to the things of the world? Yes, leaving the things of the world was a challenge for me, but I remember God blessing me with new family, new friends, a new peace and so much more that it outweighed everything I had left. Sometimes, even in your walk with God, you can be blinded by problems and doubts, but when you look back to see how far God has brought you, it really isn’t worth it to go back.
God says that He will provide a way out of every single temptation. It’s up to you to take Him at His promise.
Temptation can be a really horrible thing, but most times, we just need a reality check. I remember in the past, being in places of temptation and being hurt and having to crawl before God, cry out to Him and beg Him not to let me fall. I had to do it so many times that it became wearisome. It was hard to go before God. I didn’t even feel to pray. But, from the time I opened my mouth, supernatural strength would fill me, and He would fill me with gladness.
And you know what… eventually I didn’t have to crawl before God crying and holding on by a hair strand.
It was a horrible period in my life, but it was the price I had to pay to be totally free. And it was worth it. Most people are afraid to go through that season where you just have to be circumcised from the world… I think it’s why people come to God and fall away over and over again. You must take courage believer, and allow God to cut all things off from your heart, no matter how painful.
Dear believer, I know the fight is real. But look to God, your deliverer. Once your heart is sincere before Him, He will strengthen you, but you need to learn to lean on Him. Cry out to Him as many times as it takes. Hope in Him and know that your situation will not be forever if you will endure. God will speedily avenge His elect. So make your way back to God now and don’t look back. Don’t even be afraid of going back. Let Him keep you from falling. Make up your mind to be sober and vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Image Credit: shutterstock/Dirk Ercken