Those Who Turn Back


“. . . John left them . . .” Acts 13:13


Many people start out in the right direction. They have good intentions but when things get hard, at the first sign of difficulty, when things go against them, when they can’t have their way, when the road gets rough and steep, they turn back. They launched strong, but soon were disappointed by the lack of support and cooperation of others. They became disillusioned by people in general, disgusted by the bad behavior, and ruthless ways of others, they turn and head for home.

Selfishness sends people off in the wrong direction. The attitude of it’s my way or the highway, is the unmistakable slogan of the spoiled. It’s evidence of the undeveloped fiber of the ability to adapt to unfavorable circumstances. Rather than enduring and adjusting to disagreeable conditions, they will have none of it and just go home. 

It’s unnecessary to point out that we need men and women who, once they have put their hand on the plow, they do not turn back. The great battles in extending the kingdom of God are won by those who are willing to see it through. 

John Mark for some reason was not able to see it through. His reasons for leaving were not indicated. We can only guess. He may not have agreed to the change in the focus of the mission. He may have felt the response of the rural areas was not worth the danger and risk undertaken. He may have believed the key cities were the best places to go first, or he may have found it difficult to get along with Paul. Whatever caused him to leave, few people do things for which they don't have good reason. 

However, we shouldn't be too hard on Mark, or those we've known who have turned back. When Paul was near the end of his life, he asked for Timothy to bring Mark with him because he was useful in the service. If you've quit on God’s call, don't despair, He still has a plan and a place for you.


Are you ready to move forward to God’s purpose?