Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Backslidden Heart... Anyone?

Return, ye backsliding children, [and] I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou [art] the LORD our God. (Jeremiah 3:22)

If we delve into the lives of strong Christians, oftentimes we could see they were tainted with backsliding, but repaired by God's pardon and healing when they willingly submitted themselves humbly to Him and asked forgiveness. Many strong Christians who have not yet experienced failures may also find themselves backsliding later. Why? Because our strengths as true believers of Christ can only remain steadfast by His grace alone. Remember this bible verse: "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 1 Corinthians 10:12

What is backsliding?   Alban Douglas, in his book One Hundred Bible Lessons (copyright 1988), said that "Backsliding is turning away from God... is growing cold and leaving the first love... is turning from the simplicity of the Gospel to  salvation by law... Some defines backsliding as one sin that separates a believer from the Lord... Speaking generally, backsliding is growing cold and losing interest in the Lord, the Bible, prayer, church attendance and witnessing, and turning toward the world."

Nobody backslides instantly. Although outward appearance may be misleading, but the finality of the experience happens gradually.   Small things may crop-up bit by bit in a believer's heart and without asking God's forgiveness daily, it would lead to bigger spiritual problems.

These bits of pieces, as Alban Douglas wrote in One Hundred Bible Lessons, will start with covetousness** (eyes seeing something attractive). Before one will know it, he will be choosing too low** (deciding to "peep through" the attraction). Then he will compromise** (getting nearer the attraction). In addition, he will be captured by the enemy** (someone nearer gets captured easily). After that, he will follow carnal living** (gaining worldly influence but losing sprituality). To cover his guilt, he will then practice criminal weakness** (takes others with him). Finally, he will be carousing** (living the life of sin).

There are lots of outward causes of backsliding from selfishness** to disobedience**, and from fear** to ambition of power**. In fact, they are many to mention. Alban Douglas enumerated the real causes and I ask you these questions. Please answer them honestly. Here they are:
1. Failure to maintain the Quite Time** (Do you communicate with God personally and honestly daily?) - A lot of people said in tears that they "lost out with God in their Quite Time." (Douglas, Alban copyright 1988)

2. Failure to pray** (Do you pray any time everyday?) - Prayer is needed to ask humbly to God for strength, etc.
3. Failure to read the Bible** (Do you read the Authorized Bible Version everyday?) - 2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God..."
4. Failure to attend church** (Do you go to church regularly?) - "Be sure to attend church once a week plus Bible Study, and prayer meetings." (Douglas, Alban copyright 1988) 
5. Failure to obey the Holy Spirit** (Are you grieving the Holy Spirit?) - Ephesians 4:10 says, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
6. Failure to confess Christ** (Do you deny you are a Christian, and therefore Christ also, to your friends or anybody for whatever reasons?) - Matthew 10:33 says, "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."
7. Failure to walk in the light** (Are you obeying and following God's leading?) - We ought to for Christ's leading and quickly.

We would not wonder if we would see undesirable things happen to the backsliding person. For sure, there would be loss of power**, loss of peace**, even loss of joy and hapiness**. Everyday he would be "clouded with murmuring and darkness"**. Worst thing is, he would even loss rewards** and favor from the Lord.

Are you backsliding at present? God is calling you to return to Him. He said in Jeremiah 3:22, "Return, ye backsliding children, [and] I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou [art] the LORD our God."

My friend, as you return to Him, He will surely pardon you. He promised it before, He still promises it now. Come to Him and be healed. "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him", says the Lord in Hosea 14:4. He will!

(c) October 2009, Luisa Mercado

** enumerated by Alban Douglas in his book, One Hundred Bible Lessons
 All verses used were from the King James Bible

One Hundred Bible Lessons

By: Alban Douglas
Copyright 1988

1 comment:

mike carey said...

l love this article on backsliding and l find it true and honest in it's presentation,wonderful job