When I take my grandkids to a playground, they want me to join them. They know they’re little and need help. In effect, they’re dependent on me, and I’m there to help them.
For believers who have known the Lord for a while, it can be very easy to become more vulnerable than a young Christian. As some believers grow in their faith, they might say, “I’m doing well. I can pretty much lower my guard.” Thinking they’ve reached a plateau of some kind, they begin to lower their defenses—and suddenly they find themselves vulnerable.
On the other hand, younger believers know they can potentially fall. They’re more careful. We see this played out in the Scriptures. Moses, the man to whom God gave the Ten Commandments, the man whom God used to lead the Israelites through the wilderness, arrived at the very brink of the Promised Land and then lost his temper with the Israelites. He disobeyed God, and because of this, God didn’t allow him to enter the Promised Land.
David, the king of Israel, the little shepherd boy who sang praises to God, the giant killer in the valley of Elah, the warrior, the poet, and the man after God’s own heart, also was an adulterer. He ultimately was a murderer. He did many things wrong later in life.
His son, Solomon, who at one point was the wisest man who had ever lived, went into a horrible time of backsliding.
This reminds us that we can run a good race, but if we run in first place all the way to the end and then collapse before the finish line, we lose. It doesn’t matter whether we were ahead for most of the race. It isn’t just about starting well; it’s also about finishing well.