Is There Hope For a Backslider?
Last week a sister on twitter shared a riddle to men and this is what she shared:
The tweet received a lot of responses which made me to ask myself the same question, what would make me as a Christian to abandon the ways of God and start justifying the sins which I once abhorred? and therefore, it would be important to understand, what is backsliding?
The word backslide, in a Christian context, which implies moving away from Christ rather than toward Him. A backslider is someone who is going the wrong way, spiritually. He is regressing rather than progressing. The backslider had at one time demonstrated a commitment to Christ or maintained a certain standard of behavior, but he has since reverted to old ways. Backsliding may manifest itself in several ways, e.g., dropping out of church, losing fervor for the Lord, walking away from a ministry or a family, or falling back into old habits. We are either progressing or regressing. You show me a person who is failing to move forward spiritually, and by that I mean a person who is growing as a follower of Jesus, who is deepening in his or her prayer life and study of Scripture and likeness to Jesus, and I will show you a person who has begun the process of backsliding.
Backsliding is a uniquely biblical word. In Jeremiah 2:19 God says, “Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backslidings will rebuke you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing that you have forsaken the Lord your God….” Also, Jeremiah 3:22 says, “Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.”
The Bible tells us the story of a man who backslid, someone whom no one probably expected to fall away. It is the story of Simon Peter and his denial of Jesus Christ. Peter had walked with the Lord during three years of intensive discipleship, and yet Peter denied Him. It is a reminder to us that any of us have the potential to fall. Peter’s denial was not merely a spontaneous response to unexpected danger or embarrassment. For all practical purposes, he had already laid out the groundwork for desertion. No one suddenly backslides. A series of steps always leads to it, because every day, we are either building up or weakening our spiritual character. We are either moving forward or falling backward.
What are some of the crucial steps or signs of backsliding?
Every Christian must examine his or her life on a regular basis for the warning signs of backsliding. No one is immune.
- The focus of your heart changes from the things of God to the things of the world. The Bible says, Solomon was a man who loved the Lord, he walked according to his statutes, he built the temple, he experienced God’s love, grace and deliverance, he was given special spiritual understanding and even wrote scriptures under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, Solomon became hardened by sin’s deceitfulness… he turned away from God and served other God’s: Solomon started seeking power, drive for worldly success, desire to accumulate worldly wealth, need for sensual pleasure through compromise. (Deut. 1:27-36 / I Kings 11:1-4)
- Self-confidence. Luke 22:33 tells us that Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Peter was boasting in the wrong thing: his own strength. Mark’s gospel tells us he did this repeatedly. He was prideful and self-assured. The Bible warns, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). We should not be confident in ourselves, but in God.
- Prayerlessness. This sin of prayerlessness was a direct result of Peter’s first sin of self-confidence. When the disciples accompanied Jesus to the Mount of Olives, He specifically instructed Peter, James, and John to pray (Luke 22:40). But they fell asleep. They failed in praying. If they weren’t so full of self-confidence, I am sure they would have been praying. Often, we do the same. We don’t pray. We take matters into our own hands and come up with clever little plans and make a big mess out of things. We need to call upon the Lord. We need to recognize our own weakness. This brings us to Peter’s next step down.
- To Peter’s credit, he got together with the other disciples after Jesus’ crucifixion. Peter had fallen. He was devastated. He was destroyed. But he was waiting there with the other disciples when Jesus appeared. Just like Peter, you have a choice when you fail. You can be destroyed and devastated and let the devil pile on the condemnation, and you can be history. Or, you can get back to Jesus as quickly as possible.
Are you growing spiritually, or have you been in a state of regression? Remember, backsliding is not just going backward; it is a failure to go forward. Why not make a fresh commitment today to move forward in your relationship with Jesus?
Lets Pray: Heavenly Father a beautiful sight of the must be endless wisdom, boundless love and awesome purity. One day we will stand before you and Lord I have absolutely no doubt it will be silent and with everything about you will transcend anything we could say. Thank you for anyone who will take time to read this article. If anyone is running in the opposite direction stop them with your loving hands and turn them around. Lord I ask you for your understanding and wisdom in this time we are living, no one has ever lived in such a time, but Lord we need you, thank you for your son Jesus Christ and for saving us, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. God Bless.