I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My Commandments.
For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and turned their backs on Him.
But turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers; They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?
Turning our backs to God can be deadly. So can a backwards glance that seems harmless, like sneaking a peak at our former lusts.* From Lot's wife who was tempted by Sodom... to new disciples thinking about home, our Lord will not accept divided hearts.
Course reversals and reminiscences cripple our callings quickly or slowly to the same effect: The world wins. We lose.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: After decades with AMTC, studying our performers' progress, I can say unequivocally, with full assurance and conviction... Turning back is why performers fail. By far, it's the #1 reason.
They don't fail because they lack talent. They don't fail because they lack money. They don't fail because of mean people. They don't fail because of rejection. They don't fail because of circumstance. They don't fail because of naysayers. They don't fail because of injury. They don't fail because of bad timing.**
They fail to succeed because they quit. They fail to succeed because they turn back. They fail to succeed because they're homesick. Therein, perseverance is crucial. So is remembering their true home, their true Father and their real calling.
To Be Continued...
* Jesus said to avoid temptation. Looking at temptations opens the door to a fall. Like David staring at Bathsheba. So rehearse this Line in prayer time: 'Turn my eyes away from worthless things' (Psalm 119:37, NKJV).
* 'Sinners in Zion are terrified;
Trembling has seized the godless.
Who among us can live with the consuming fire?
Who among us can live with continual burning?.
He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity,
He who rejects unjust gain
And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe;
He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed
And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil;
He will dwell on the heights,
His refuge will be the impregnable Rock;
His bread will be given him,
His water will be sure' (Isaiah 33:14-16, NASB).
** Yes, other reasons exist for failure, like inadequate preparation, insufficient industry knowledge or unrealistic expectations, but quitting is #1.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Self-Examination series.