Thursday, September 12, 2013

Backsliding—not a terminal illness

Girl propped in bed, taking her temperature
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 3:19-4:12

"'Return, you backsliding children,
And I will heal your backslidings.'" Jeremiah 3:22

Jeremiah talks a lot about backsliding. In the verse I've chosen to focus on today, he calls it "backslidings."

[Backsliding - meshubah means turning back, turning away; defecting, faithlessness, apostasy, disloyalty; reverting. It comes from the root word shub that means turn or repent.

But backslide is subtly different from repent. While repent means to turn around, when you backslide you turn back (to a state you were in previously). "To return to wrong or sinful ways" - definitions from from Dick Mills, Word Wealth, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 967 & Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary. ]

Jeremiah refers to backsliding as a condition that needs healing. When someone needs healing they are either sick or injured and their ability to help themselves is compromised. Perhaps this gives us insight into how we can pray for loved ones who were once loyal to Jesus but have since turned their backs on Him—backsliders. We can pray for their spiritual healing.

More aspects of spiritual healing are sprinkled throughout the Bible. From them we learn:

1. God may allow, even seem to initiate pain during our times of backsliding to urge us back to Him - Hosea 6:1.

2. We can pray for ourselves when we sense we're in danger of backsliding or in a backslidden condition - Psalm 41:4; Jeremiah 17:14.

3. God is the one who does the healing - Psalm 147:3.

4. Healing from backsliding and all spiritual illness is available only through Christ and His substitutionary death on the cross - Luke 4:18; Isaiah 53:5.

5. Someday our healing will be complete - Revelation 22:2.

It's wonderful to know that backsliding doesn't have to be a terminal illness!

Dear God, I pray for the backsliders I love. I also pray that I will have the sense to know when I am infected with the germs of backsliding. Amen.


The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.
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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this, Violet. I'd been asking God about a situation I'd been praying for, and He's given me direction through your post.


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