How Is It That You Turn Back Again?

“But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?” (Galatians 4:9)

Paul raises to the Galatians a question which could be addressed to many of us today:

He says “you have come to KNOW GOD” — what an amazing thing this is! God designed us to be fulfilled by knowing Him, and walking in a personal relationship with Him. Following Adam & Eve, we all separated ourselves from that fellowship with God, by our sin. Amazingly, God still loved us, and sent Jesus to save us, that we could have eternal life, which John 17:3 tells us the essence of is knowing God. Amazing grace! Incredible privilege!

In light of this, Paul says, how could we “turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?” And his question applies to more than the Judaism of the Galatians. They turned from the privilege of salvation by faith in Christ, to legalism. We today may turn to other “weak and worthless elemental things”:

— perhaps drugs or alcohol

— maybe immorality or sensuality

— the popularity or fear of other people

— or material things

Israel saw the living God on the Mountain — how could they turn back to a Golden Calf? They saw God part the Red Sea; how could they want to turn back to Egypt?
In the same way, we have KNOWN GOD! How can we turn back, to a “comfortable, middle class life” like everyone else has, when there is the adventure of knowing God, and walking with Him by faith, and serving His kingdom and doing His will; a life invested in eternal things as opposed to one spend on temporal things which will perish with our own short lifetime?

In what areas of life are you tempted to settle for less than His blessing; to “turn back again” to things far less than the incomparable treasure God has for you: knowing Him?!  

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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