This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.
[These are notes from Oswald Chambers’ lecture on Jeremiah 18.]
These people are affecting to be the people of God—“We are the people of God, this is the temple of God…the prophets we like to listen to are those who prophesy smooth things.” … The early aspirations God stirred in them have gone, and now they simply make God and everything in connection with Him an affectation to go on their own ways. …
There is an obstinacy that deliberately takes the law into its own hand and leaves the source of its life. There needs to be a recognition of where the source of life is and a determination to stay at it. Backsliding is the prevailing human stubbornness after the experimental knowledge of salvation. Backsliding is never spoken of in the Bible as a degenerate tendency, but as a conscious forsaking. …
It is no longer “Satisfy us early with Thy mercy,” but “Satisfy us with these other things, we want material prosperity and success.” … Never falter by trying to make anything lesser the cause for what is greater; for instance, trying to make health of body the cause for a right spiritual relationship, or material prosperity the cause for worshiping God, and never make obedience the reason that God is blessing you, obedience is the effect of being rightly related to God.
From Notes On Jeremiah
Backsliding occurs when we deliberately try to find loopholes, evasions, or excuses for not obeying the Word of God.
Whenever the Holy Spirit prompts us to make a change, we have a decision to make: we can obey or we can make excuses (which is conscious disobedience). Obedience shows we are rightly related to God. Our excuses and evasions show we are trying to get God to be rightly related to our way of thinking.
What God is asking you to obey may be a hard thing, but it is always the best thing! Don’t evade, justify, or make excuses—simply, as the words of the old hymn remind us, trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus.