I Will Not Turn Back

Praise, prayer, and worship.  These are my weapons of warfare.  This is not cliché, this is truth.  What is cliché, however, is saying just that without thinking about it, without considering why, and without backing it up with action.  So, why are these three things my weapons, and why do I consider them so powerful in my life? 

Satan…I said his name.  A name that is either considered like somewhat of an evil character in a fairy tale, or simply spoken of as the enemy of God, and to some just a little more of a sophisticated way to say the devil, but only because saying the devil can make you feel a little childish. Is he real?  Where is he?  If we don’t see him, does that mean he doesn’t exist except within the confines of our imagination?  If we don’t see him, does that mean he is simply a player in the thriller of Halloween and otherwise gone until the next year and we can once again bring him out to celebrate fear and death, like Santa Claus sits on our shelf at Christmas to celebrate giving and love? 

He is real.  He is here. He is evil.  His ways are wicked, his motivation is to steal, kill, and destroy, and he is happy to sit comfortably with you as you entertain him with your thoughts, the things you watch and listen to, and how you speak and treat the people around you.  He is sneaky, he is deceptive, he loves fear, pain, hurt, division, and brokenness. In short, he is everything our God is not.

Our God is loving and patient, He is faithful, He is kind, He is encouraging, He is powerful, He is all that is good! He is real, He created what is real, and what is real belongs to Him.  That is why praise, prayer, and worship are so important.  These three things are powerful, but do we know why?  Do we understand what we are doing when we praise Him, when we pray, and when we worship, no matter the form of worship?  When we do these things we are standing on the truth that He is real, He loves us, He is the reason we breathe, and we are declaring that we choose Him. 

It takes faith to move in praise, prayer and worship.  And the Word tells us, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” When we praise Him we are saying that we are grateful to an incredible God.  When we pray we believe that He can hear us, is listening, that He cares, and that we desire and trust His thoughts above our own.  And, when we worship we are confirming in our hearts that He is greater than all and giving ourselves back to Him, entrusting Him with everything that we are.  When we do these three things, we are telling ourselves and the world that He is real, and confirming our faith by our actions.

Faith.  It is by faith that I do these things.  Without faith, I am nothing but a wandering fool, giving myself to anything and everything that comes my way, easily trampled and tormented by a very real enemy, whether I recognize him for who he is or not.  That is our reality. Satan doesn’t care if we know who he is.  He really doesn’t. He only cares that we are scared, confused, angry, and too bound to reach out to our only Savior. 

God, however, does care.  He wants us to know Him, to know His love for us and the power of that love, and His desire is to carry us through this life to live eternally with Him.  He doesn’t just want us to believe that He is, but also to believe that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.  

Satan and his demons believe in Jesus and who He is. They believe and they turn away.  They believe and they deceive.  They believe and they hurt and cause pain.  They believe and they beat us down with fear, wickedness, and doubt so that we are separated, as they are, from a very loving, real God.

Luke 9:62 says, “No one having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” and Paul tells us in Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  Pressing toward the goal for the prize sounds very similar to believing that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Hebrews 11:15 says, “And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have opportunity to return.  But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.”  There is always opportunity to return to life without Christ.  2 Peter 2:21 says, “For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.”  

I will not turn back.  Does that mean that I won’t struggle to stand in faith against my emotions or my desires?  No.  Does that mean I won’t make mistakes? No. That means I refuse to turn back to a life without Christ, and I refuse to desire to return to where I was before he rescued me.  And that, in and of itself, demands faith to believe that He is and to desire His presence.  

I will praise Him for all He has done and continues to do.  I will pray to Him and seek His presence, His voice, and His direction.  And, I will worship Him because He is my creator, loves me beyond my ability to understand love, and is He is good.  

Lot’s wife turned back.  We don’t have a lot of information on her other than this fact, and that we are warned to remember her.  We know that her life was in Sodom and Gomorrah.  We know that they chose the region of Sodom and Gomorrah because of the richness of the land.  And, we know that she had daughters and sons-in-law still there because they thought Lot was joking.  

With this information we can speculate a lot of things.  We can assume that she was looking back on her home, her provision, her friends, and not only sad, but curious.  We can wonder how hard it was for her to leave her family there, and hurting for them.  But, in truth, we don’t know anything about her personally, so we can only run with the information that we do have.  

She turned back when the Lord was rescuing her out of destruction.  She turned back when she was told not to.  She turned back when her salvation was in front of her.  The Lord was guiding her, speaking to her, pushing her to his saving grace, and she turned back.  

When He speaks to us, when He shows us the way, when He is drawing us, what gets in our way of following Him, of chasing Him, of trusting Him?  Is it the things we possess in the natural?  Is it our loved ones and friends?  Is it our emotions?  Is it fear and doubt?  The reality is, it doesn’t matter what is getting in our way!  We are to blow through it…knowing, trusting, believing that where He is taking us is better, and He will walk us through the pain, through the fear, well past the doubt, and out of the hurt with every step that we take towards Him.  We are cautioned to remember Lot’s wife.  She turned into a pillar of salt!  Are we going to take His Word seriously or not?  Are we going to trust Him or not?  Let’s not make difficult what is simple.  He is all in all!  He is everything!  He is perfect and good! 

We cannot choose our lives over Him and be safe.  We cannot choose fear over Him and be safe.  We cannot choose our loved ones who refuse to run with Him over His direction for us and be safe.  When He gives us a new direction, we cannot look back and desire what we once had and be safe.  Are you willing to run with Him into the wilderness, or to a small, insignificant place, leaving comfort, prosperity, and family if that is where He says to be?  
I am, and I will not turn back!  And, praise, prayer, and worship will keep me when all else fails.  And, when Satan would try to rise against me; praise, prayer, and worship will deliver me into His hand and into His presence, and there is no place I would rather be.
Quinn Pruett