In Proverbs 14:14 Solomon advises that, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.” The word “BACKSLIDER” has a negative ring. Most people cringe or tighten when the word “hypocrite” is mentioned. So it is with the term “backslider.” It’s like bad breath – most people won’t tell you if you have it. Here are TWELVE Signs of Backsliding to be read on the Knees Alone with God
1. When you grow bolder with sin, or with temptations to sin than you were in your more watchful state—then be sure something is wrong.
2. When you make a small matter of those sins and infirmities which once seemed grievous to you and almost intolerable.
3. When you settle down to a course of religion that gives you but little labor and leave out the hard and costly part.
4. When your God and Saviour grows a little strange to you and your religion consists in conversing with men and their books and not with God and His Book.
5. When you delight more in hearing and talking, than in secret prayer and the Word.
6. When you use the means of grace more as a matter of duty, than as food in which your soul delights.
7. When you regard too much the eye of man and too little the eye of God.
8. When you grow hot and eager about some disputed point, or in forwarding the interests of some party of Christians, more than about those matters which concern the great cause of Christ.
9. When you grow harsh and bitter towards those who differ from you, instead of feeling tenderly towards all who love Christ.
10. When you make light of preparing for the Lord's Day and the Lord's Table, and think more of outward ordinances than you do of heart work.
11. When the hopes of Heaven and the love of God do not interest you, but you are thirsting after some worldly enjoyment and grow eager for it.
12. When the world grows sweeter to you and death and eternity are distasteful subjects.
All these are sure SIGNS of a BACKSLIDING state. The instructions God gave to Israel is the same for our nation as well as for you and me as individuals found in I Chronicles 7:14 where we read,
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
If you find yourself backsliding and out of the pathway of God’s blessing, heed the call of Hosea 6:11 “Come, and let us return unto the Lord.” It’s important that we realize that a backslider is one who has lost fellowship, not salvation. The joy and happiness depart, but not the Spirit. When King David sinned so grievously and finally came to himself, he prayed in Psalm 51:12 “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.” He did not pray for his salvation to return, but his joy.
May God's blessing be upon you this week as you read and meditate from I John 5:16-17 on "The Sin God Can’t Forgive."
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