But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshipping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways. Judges 2:19
It is very common for people to follow the rules when the boss or some authority is around. They feel the eyes of the authority on them and choose to follow all of the rules. This is often done, because they do not want to be punished for doing wrong.
Others will also jump on the band wagon of following the rules of the leader when everyone else is doing it. It is the thing to do, not necessarily what they really want to do.
However, most of those same people will change their ways as soon as the authority is out of sight. They will go back to the old ways of wrong ways of doing things.
God had began to raise up judges or leaders to lead the people. While the judge was living and things were going good, they would follow and obey God. As soon as the judge died, the people went back to their corrupt ways, even worse than before, worshipping and following false gods. Following God was not really the center of their heart.
People have not changed. Children in Christian homes often follow God while at home, but often fall away when they leave home. They follow God when under the eyes of their parents, but God is not a part of their heart.
Adults do the same. On Sunday many people follow God and serve Him, when under the eyes of other believers or the pastor. On Monday, they return to their old ways of sin, because the pastor cannot see them anymore. God is not really a part of their heart.
As a believer, God has to be a part of your heart’s desire. He needs to be the One you want more than anything, at any time, and for any cost.
When God is this much a part of your heart, you will not purposefully return to sinful ways. You will be seeking His Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide you to live for Him. You will make mistakes, but you will quickly return because of His great love and mercy.
Ask yourself today who or what is really your heart’s desire.
Is it God?
Or the things of this world?
I pray today that you will personally know God; that you will desire God with all of your heart; that you will follow God with all of your heart; and that God will strengthen and guide you in His ways.