It starts ever so gradually. We hardly notice the slowing down and dullness that begins to creep over our hearts as we lose the joy and intensity of loving and serving the One who died for us.
Life happens, and with all its ups and downs, the leash of loyalty and commitment to our Master grows longer and longer as we wander further and further from His presence. Before too long, we cannot feel His nearness or hear His encouragement and guidance.
God’s lovingkindness and unconditional love drew us like magnets to His gift of salvation. The time of glorious reckoning, when our heavy hearts and burdened souls genuinely felt the refreshing jolt of life Jesus gave us when we surrendered to Him, can become a fading memory. As we wander away from Him, it’s easier to believe the enemy’s lie that we can do life on our own; we don’t need the Savior.
The Point of No Return lurks very close when we entertain such thoughts. It’s precisely what the enemy wants, and he has many resources to distract and trap us as our leash gets longer and the distance from the Lord is greater.
I’m too far gone, the backslider says. This time, I’ve pushed all the wrong buttons, and there’s no grace left for me. The Point of No Return slams the door of Hope shut, and the chains of sin and spiritual death tighten as the enemy of our souls enjoys padding our cells with all the temptations he’s watched us fall into over our lifetime.
Reset! Reset! Reset! It’s time for Truth to emerge! The Father’s love has not dried up; ours has. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness,” the Lord says in Jeremiah 31:3. As we stretch the leash farther away from the Lord, His Holy Spirit goes to work pulling us back. “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool” (Isaiah 1:18-20 NLT).
Maybe you’re not a murderer—your leash hasn’t stretched out that long. Maybe heroin or sexual addictions have never held you captive. Perhaps the job, the house, the frantic pace of life, the quest for riches, or the despair of disease pad your cell of entrapment. Think about this: He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins (Ephesians 1:7).
If talking to Jesus seems no longer an option, try it anyway. He will listen. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8). Father God’s heart is big. He creates big, forgives big, and loves big. A simple, heartfelt prayer turns His gaze toward us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
The Point of No Return can be reversed to become the Point of Return, as you return to the One who loves you with an incomprehensible love. In a moment of conversation with the Savior, He can shorten the leash and bring you to His side. Once there, daily conversations with Him, reading His Word, and spending time with other Christians will keep you far from the Point of No Return. You need never approach it again.
©2023, Chris Werre