[CF Devotionals] 2009-11-21 - Cure For Backsliding

Hosea 14:4, “I will heal their backsliding.”

Followers of Christ are supposed to have fellowship with Him, but sometimes that fellowship is stinted because we fall into sin. How much have you "backslidden" lately? Prayer is often the first thing to go, and a sure sign that we have backslidden. How is your prayer life? How consistent is your reading of God’s Word? Is it as sweet to you as it once was? Are you running on the path to heaven, or standing around admiring the flowers – making no progress towards the Heavenly City? I think that most of us would have to admit that there is always some measure of backsliding in us. We are not what we desire to be. It is to be mourned that this is so, but there is hope.

God promises to “heal” our backslidings. It is a deficiency, an ailment, a disease, to be backslidden. God does not treat us as the rebels that we are. Jesus has taken the sin of His children upon Himself on the cross. He doesn’t treat us as we deserve. He is the great physician, and He says here that He will heal us. Notice also that Christ Himself heals our soul sickness. “I” will heal (says Christ). It is the Lord Himself who promises us this mercy. He has not said that “somehow” your backsliding will be healed. No, He says that “I” will do it – He Himself. This is such a mercy. He doesn’t tell us to go to a minister or a priest to look for healing. They cannot heal us. Only Christ offers healing for backsliders. We go to Him for the healing, because He has said He will do it.

Let us remark also that the Lord says that He “will” heal His children. We can come before the Lord and plead this passage. “Lord, You have promised in Your true Word that You will heal the backslidings of Your people. I ask You to heal this sin-sickness that is besetting me. Cleanse me, I pray, this day. Renew me, revive me according to Your gracious mercy.” It is a good prayer for any/all of us to pray.

Let us take note also of the very personal nature of this passage. It is “their” backslidings that the Lord promises to heal. Who is “their?” It means His followers – His precious children whom He loves. Thus, we can go before the Lord and plead, “Lord, heal ‘my’ backsliding. I hate it. I want that fellowship with You that I once knew. Please heal me.”

It is an awful thing to fall into a backsliding condition. It can feel that you are falling down a mountain, and picking up steam as you head to whatever it is that you will finally hit – but you are sure it isn’t good. The Lord gives us a valuable promise here, one that we can trust. He promises to cure our sin-sickness. It is His pleasure to do so, and here is the wonder of it all….it is His pleasure to do so, because He loves His children.

Soli Deo Gloria,

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