My entire Christian life I’ve been perplexed at observing followers of Christ deviate from their devotion to follow another path or default to their previous lifestyle. A pattern observed by the Apostle Paul in the Galatian church gives language to this behavior.
“Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?…For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ…because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba Father.” (Galatians 3:3, 27, 4:6) We see a beautiful partnership amongst the Trinity in the connecting and sealing of our hearts.
“But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?…I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain…my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.” (4:9, 11, 19)
Once through the birth canal is max for me, thank you. Not to mention the fact that opposition and resistance on the forward path are sufficient enough without having to “turn back” to my former slavery.
Contrasted with the fluctuation of the human, is the wonderful divine trait of perfect enduring love. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
The Father never turns or varies from His bright, nurturing gaze upon our lives.
There is no “eclipse” of light. Every imaginable life challenge is seemingly listed at the end of Romans chapter eight, and the good news is that “nothing” shall separate us from His enduring love. (Romans 8:38-39)
Darkness accompanies our soul into the world, but once we encounter and are trained in right living (righteousness), it becomes our choice to choose concealment from the light. Jesus said, And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (John 3:19) Hence the principle learned from the disciples in Galatia. Due diligence is required, for our personal lives and our marriages.
Persecution for the faith is already being experienced by many Christians in our world. Many have also been shipwrecked in their faith due to the influence of false prophets. Both of these will increase greatly as we move into the last days. “Because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:12-13)
Abiding in God’s enduring love is not a passive exercise. The potential that one’s love is capable of growing “cold” is sobering indeed.
The progressive, ever-deepening, impression of His holy seal upon our hearts must be sought after and guarded, that enduring love would be our portion.