Don’t Relax Your Grip
By Greg Laurie
“Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.”
I think we all know people who have made a so-called commitment to follow Jesus, and then they mysteriously fall away. We saw them in church
week after week or maybe month after month for a time. Then suddenly, they disappeared.
Where did they go? What happened to them? They no longer respond to text messages, emails, or phone calls. They’re
simply gone. And then we find out they fell away spiritually.
Their marriage may have fallen apart, or maybe they went back to the old life again and started doing what they used to do. But they no longer
have any interest in following Jesus.
Maybe you’ve wondered, “Wow, if someone like that could fall away, then am I next?”
might surprise you: that’s entirely up to you. God has given us a free will, so if you want to fall, you certainly can. But if you want to be safe in the protective arms of Jesus, then that is exactly where you will be.
In John 17, Jesus prayed for our preservation. He said, “Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that
they will be united just as we are” (verse 11 NLT).
God wants to preserve you, but you have to do your part. The moment you fail to move forward spiritually is the moment you effectively begin to
go backward. But falling away doesn’t happen overnight. Generally, it’s a matter of relaxing your grip here or there. You gradually do a little less of the things that help you to grow spiritually, and it starts the process of slowing down.
If you want to be close to the Lord, that is entirely up to you.