Devotional

Backsliding Into Religion

Michael Beck Michael Beck

“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” (Galatians 4:9)

Backsliding for some is not returning to the vomit of former sin; it is retreating to a form of godliness. Don’t think you can’t become religious, even after entering into true relationhip with God. Religion only appears like a lot of work; it is actually an easy, lazy approach that has us thinking we’re good with God when we’re not.

There are choices that need to be made on the path of discipleship. We are either going to go on with our Master in truth, or we are going to depart from Him in our heart. The grace of God is available to us for every trial and temptation. He has hind’s feet to give us for our high places. But we can refuse His way and thoughts and cling to our own. We can cross our arms, like Jonah, and declare that “we do well to be angry.” We can hold on to bitterness, becoming hard and sour inside. And all the while we can be drawing near to God with our lips with a heart far from Him.

There are many very religious people who have substituted sacrifice for obedience. They are faithful church-goers. They profess that they know the Lord, but He looks at them as sorrowfully as He did Peter in the courtyard. Religion is always waiting in the wings for those who have abandoned the rugged life of a disciple. Don’t just look the part. Follow on to truly know the Lord. Be His disciple indeed.

“Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD …” (Hosea 6:3)


Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.