February 3

The Absurdity of Going Back

“Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” Galatians 3:3

On Thursday, August 1, 1985, a room full of America’s top intelligence officials gathered outside the office of the director of the CIA for a farewell reception retiIiI1g colleague. However, the topic was not about the retiree. Whispers were flying around the room that the highest ranking KGB agent, Vitally Sergeyevich Yurchenko, had defected. He was most important because he was in charge of all KGB operations in the United States and Canada. Now, he would be able to provide extremely important information about Soviet spies in America. 

After presenting himself to the American Embassy in Rome, he was quickly flown to the United States in a military plane. Once in the U.S., he was taken to a “safe house” in northern Virginia where he was interrogated for hours and provided very sensitive information.

The most startling and amazing pan of this story took place three months later on November 2nd. Yurchenko had been spurned by a girlfriend in Canada and was growing increasingly impatient with his situation. During the evening he persuaded the CIA agent assigned to him to take him to Georgetown for dinner and a movie. During dinner Yurchenko asked the agent, “What would you do if I got up and walked off? Would you shoot me?” The CIA agent replied, “We don’t shoot defectors.” Yurchenko countered, “I will be back in 15 to 20 minutes, if I am not, it is your fault.” With that he walked out of the restaurant and presented himself to the Russian Embassy where he un-defected.

The world watched in amazement a few days later as this man boarded a Russian Aeroflot jet, stopping briefly on the boarding steps to wave good-bye to freedom. He then returned to the confines of communism. Why would anybody who had enjoyed freedom return to communism? Yet that which amazes us in the political arena is met with welcome acceptance in the spiritual arena. Why would anyone who has tasted the freedom streaming from the grace of God return to the confines of legalism regulating that relationship? What kind of relationship do you have with the God of grace?

Prayer for today: Dear Heavenly Father; we pray you make us a people of faith, relying on Your Spirit to teach us Your will for our lives. Through prayer, fellowship and reading Your Word, guide us into a deeper relationship with You. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit that we may live each day as a blessing to others. Amen.

Personal Prayer: “Lord, I want to please You! What do You want me to do to help make the dreams of our church come true?”