“Why has this people slidden back,
Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding?
They hold fast to deceit,
They refuse to return.”
Like a doctor who has carefully examined a patient and given his diagnosis, Jeremiah declares the sickness of Judah to be perpetual backsliding. Backsliding is a biblical term that refers to a follower of God who has returned to his pre-conversion lifestyle. Perpetual is a term wnich means continual, like a pendulum. The perpetual backslider is the person who makes a commitment to the Lord, falls back into sin, makes another commitment, followed by another fall, and this becomes the cycle of his life.
God designed the human brain to develop patterns. These patters can be extremely helpful. I recall my first attempts to learn chords on the guitar. It was a pain staking process, my brain would tell my fingers what to do, but they seemed incapable of following orders. I can remember times when I had to use my right hand to bend my left hand into the proper shape to make a simple ‘D’ chord. After some time however, a pattern developed, and I could contort my fingers to the proper position, seemingly without thought or effort.
While these patterns can be positive, they can also lead to perpetual bad behavior, and great effort must be taken to break the pattern. This is particularly true of someone whose Christian life has become cyclical. The solution is not to give up or to think that is just how things have to be. Instead, it is time to make some changes in how you approach walking with Christ. It is already clear that you love the Lord deeply, or you would not continually come back to Him, so the focus must be on things that will create permanence. Jesus explained that the secret to a fruitful life is to abide in Him. The Psalmist proclaims, this is done by daily delighting in the Word of God. To delight in the Word means we read it, study it, meditate upon it, and do what it says. The key to breaking the pattern of perpetual backsliding is to make daily investments in God’s Word.
Let’s get started today.