The Backsliden Condition: 10 Ways To Reverse Its Effects!
When the word ďbackslidingĒ is mentioned, our first thoughts usually pertain to a person, or persons, who recently returned to a life of visible or blatant sin. ďItís sadĒ, we might reply to our friends or colleagues, when we hear of someone we know, who has reportedly, done just that. We may expound further on the notion of how we ďjust donít understand itĒ. Yet, if we are truthful with ourselves, somewhere deep inside, we are really glad that we are not the subject of discussion. We may subconsciously say to ourselves, with a sense of false pride, ďOh, I would never do that!Ē
True enough, perhaps, that we may never do certain things that others do, have done, or are accused of doing. We all have our weaknesses; however, and we are all subject to downfalls, in various areas. Sin, usually does not manifest itself, as visible to others, overnight. It is a process that happens both subtly and gradually. We donít just wake up one day and decide to fall from grace, and boldly reject our Christian beliefs! No, the process starts with small, seemingly insignificant, choices, priorities, and habits, that when left uncorrected, lead to disastrous consequences.
Everyday we make choices. Although most are not of epic proportion, many are far more significant and relevant than we may think at the time. Some small choices actually compound themselves, eventually becoming habits, and ultimately, lifestyles. We have a choice everyday to move forward, or to go backward in our Christian walk. If we are not going forward, we are, in fact, going backward! Staying the same is really not an option, because it indicates we are not progressing, not growing, or at the very least, not realizing or not acting upon the new opportunities that come our way.
If there have been times in our lives, since the time we first accepted Christ, that we felt closer to The Lord than we do right now, we may be guilty of backsliding. If there have been times when we served Him with more joy and exuberance than we do in the present, backsliding may be one reason. If there have been times we were more dedicated and committed than we are now, we may be in a backsliden condition.
Certainly, in our Christian walk, as in anything else, there are times we handle things better, feel better, and respond better than we do at other times. If we notice that we are on a consistent path, however, of gradually giving less, and getting less, in our worship, we should be aware of our own responsibility in the matter. Itís easy to blame everything and everyone else for our spiritual condition. Perhaps we donít like the new pastor, or perhaps a particular individual did something that hurt our feelings or our pride. Maybe we just donít have enough time. Maybe we work too hard. Maybe our best friend moved away. Perhaps we werenít chosen for a position we wanted. Perhaps we have problems at home. Perhaps our children or parents have changed churches. Maybe we no longer have a desire to read The Word. Maybe we feel thereís nothing left to learn. Maybe weíve just become complacent, or even lazy, and weíre okay with that. The list may go on and on, but basically, if there is a distinct difference in the way we feel or respond toward our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, itís because weíve moved, not Him! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
If we become aware of a gradual disinterest, or recent lack of enthusiasm for The Lord and His work, there are steps we can take to improve our situation:
1) Talk to God. If we are out of the habit, letís get back into the habit of talking to God, listening to God, and praying. How long has it been? Letís set our clocks, set a time, write it on our planners, or whatever we must do, to begin communicating with God on a daily basis!
2) Confess. Letís truly give some thought to how, why, and when we began having these waning feelings. Letís confess it to our Lord, and ask Him to forgive us, and renew us, and our relationship with Him.
3) Read The Word. Letís commit to reading some of Godís Word, or listening to it on CD or tape, everyday, no matter how small we start off. God will speak to us through His word, but we must first be in it. James is a great book, if we have been out of The Word for awhile. John is great to start with, if weíve never even opened The Book.
4) Attend Church. Letís try to go to one more service or church event this week than we normally do. We have to start where we are! If we have not been attending at all, letís definitely attend church once this week. Letís go with an open mind, a heart thatís ready to fellowship, and a plan to meet The Lord there. If we have been skipping nightly services, letís plan ahead, to go to one, and letís not let anything stand in our way. (You know the old devil tries to put every obstacle imaginable in the way of our getting closer to God.)
5) Be Accountable. Whether there is only one person, or several people, in our lives that we trust, letís tell them that we have been struggling, lately, with our commitment. Allow that person, or persons, to be there for us, encourage us, and assist us in NOT finding excuses.
6) Fill A Need. It doesnít take much to look around us, and see someone with a need we can fill. Letís send a card to let someone know we care. Letís offer to babysit for that overworked mom we know. Letís spend time with someone who is lonely, sick, or sad. Letís cut the grass for our elderly neighbor. There must be hundreds of needs to fill out there, in very close proximity to us. Letís find a way to fill a need, without regard for our own convenience.
7) Seek Him. Throughout the day, letís consult God and let Him make our decisions for us, even in the little things. Letís seek His guidance and wisdom on every little thing we do and say. Letís allow Him to set our priorities for the day.
8) Be Thankful. Letís acknowledge and express our gratitude for all our blessings. Weíll be surprised how many there are, once we began to list them.
9) Remember. Letís take a moment to reflect on how we were and how differently we are now, than when we first accepted Christ. Letís think of how, with His help, we can get back to where we know we need to be.
10) Change The Channel. We can merely change the channel on the TV or radio, and choose to see or hear something that God would be pleased with, rather than something offensive or in direct contrast to Him.
Practice, Practice, Practice! If we do these things, for just one week, we will definitely see a difference in ourselves and in our relationship with Christ. Now, letís get started!
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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