A Daily Word from the Word for Tuesday, February 24, 2015
“Return, you backsliding children, and I [The Lord your Healer] will heal your backslidings.” – Jeremiah 3:22
What’s going on with you lately, family? Feeling like you’re on the outside looking in, my brother? Depressed by losing that battle with disconnection, my sister? Could it be that you’ve got some backsliding getting in the way of your relationship with your Holy Father?
Backsliding is not a performance (or lack thereof) in the pews on Sunday; but rather a condition of the heart, as evidenced by the Hebrew meaning of “return” as used in this verse. This word “return” (shuwb, pr. shoob) means “to turn back (hence turn away), build, circumcise” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance).
To return to God means that we must circumcise our hearts, with the first step being to turn back to God by turning away from those attitudes, things, relationships, activities, preoccupations, addictions, mindsets, obsessions, and idols which have come between us and our God. There are times in the Bible where God tells us to circumcise our own hearts (flesh) as in our study verse; and other instances in which the Great Physician needs to perform this spiritual surgery for us and on us (Genesis 17:11, Deuteronomy 10:16, Deuteronomy 30:6, Joshua 5:2, Jeremiah 4:4). The Hebrew word for circumcise in all of the Old Testament Verses, with the exception of Genesis 17:11, is muwl (pr. mool), which is “to cut short, curtail, destroy.”
What shenanigans do you need to cut short, my brother? What relationships and preoccupations do you need to destroy, my sister? Jeremiah 3:22 is not a rebuke, but rather a plea from the One Who Loves you with an everlasting love, to put away those things that are defiling you, contaminating your heart, making you sick, destroying you little by little, and tearing you apart piece by piece. It breaks your Daddy’s heart to watch you destroy yourself like this.
When you are “backsliding” (showbab, pr. sho-bab), you are “apostate, idolatrous, frowardly, turn away.” This first term (backsliding) is a different word than the second use of “backslidings” (meshuwbah, pr. mesh-oo-baw), which is “apostasy.” The first is a state, position, or condition; whereas the second is the numerous acts of “abandonment.” Numerous acts of abandonment of doing what is right in the sight of the Lord will lead one to take a position in their heart of turning away from their Creator, which causes the condition of a backslidden son or daughter.
In either case, God is promising to “heal,” raphah (pr. raw-faw) all of His children who are caught in this condition or committing such acts. Your amazingly-loving and merciful Jehovah Rapha (The Lord Who Heals) longs to “mend (by stitching), cure, repair, make whole” your broken heart, which was damaged by rebellion.
Are you in need of repair, my brother? Have some mending on the inside that needs to be done, my sister? Then bring the pieces of your heart to the altar of God’s Holy Throne room and allow Him to restore and put you back together again.
Father, we repent for backsliding. Forgive us, Merciful Father, for playing with and being pre-occupied with behaviors, attitudes, mentalities, and pity parties which have caused our hearts to become broken; thus tearing us away from You. Help us to put away, forsake, and destroy those things which have made us sick in our hearts and even our physical bodies. In Jesus Name, we declare that we are back home with You! And we thank You, for beckoning and making a way for us to return to You, Amen and Amen!
Take action! Challenge your thinking! Choose to forsake those things, attitudes, mindsets, behaviors, actions, relationships, and areas that have caused you to backslide. Determine in your mind, and purpose in your heart, that you will never again allow the devil to throw you a pity party; but rather let conviction arise, and return home to Your Father Who is waiting for you with open arms. And continue to fight the good fight of never walking around with a torn heart again; for God, your Divine Tailor, has already given you the victory!
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do it today, right now, by saying this prayer out loud: “Jesus, forgive me for my sins. I am sorry. I truly desire to be saved and reconciled back to God, my Father, through You. I receive Your sinless Blood as payment in full for my sins—past, present, and future. I now call You my Lord and Savior, and invite You to live within my heart, and to permanently live within me. I make You Lord over me and over my life from this moment on. Amen.” Congratulations! You are now a child of God, made whole and made new, by the Blood of Jesus Christ!
God tells us that we are blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:2). Be a blessing to someone by sending them this word of encouragement. If God did not already put someone in your spirit and on your heart that needs to read this uplifting message from above, simply ask your Heavenly Father who to bless on today. Forward this message right now by email, facebook, or twitter.
Jesus is coming soon!
May God Bless you and keep you always.
With warmest regards,
And, in service of The Most High King,
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Matthew is founder of HMD Ministries, and sits under the leadership of Apostle Dr. Don Lyon of Faith Center Ministries International in Rockford, Illinois, where he serves as an associate pastor.
All references to Hebrew and Greek words and meanings, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance © 1990 by Thomas Nelson Publishing. All dictionary references are taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary © 2015, unless otherwise noted.