Backsliding: Don’t Fall off the Cliff Just Yet
Whether you’ve been a Christian your entire life, or only for a few months, you’re going to experience a period of backsliding at some point. Despite your best intentions to live a pristine life, actively pursue Christ and abide by God’s word, Satan will do his best to break your habit by interfering. Satan will try his best to lure you away from God by tempting you with the lusts of the world, and will attempt to convince you that you’re a horrible person and not worthy of God’s love.
But Satan’s a liar.
You can get back on track.
Analyze What Happened:
“Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”
Did you stop going to church? Did you fall into the wrong crowd? Did Satan attack you individually with lies and deceit? Think back to when you first felt like you were straying away from God. What was the reason you stopped going to church? Is the crowd you’re hanging out with causing you to stumble? Where did the bad thoughts/actions first stem from? Once you ask yourself these questions, it is easier to pinpoint the origin of the problem.
Consider Your Guilt:
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
-2 Corinthians 13:5
If you’re backsliding in your walk with God, you won’t have to have someone notify you, for that is the purpose of the Holy Spirit. When you ask Jesus to come into your heart, the Holy Spirit will abide in you and will help you stay on a path that is pleasing to God. The condition is we have to be willing to listen to the Holy Spirit; it’s unfortunate that we can’t set it on autopilot, but that’s why God allows us to have free will. If you have accepted salvation through Jesus Christ, you will develop a weird feeling whenever you begin to backslide. While you’re partaking in the sin, you’ll feel a pang of guilt and think, “this goes against what the Bible says.” From here, you have two options: continue, or quit and repent.
Option 1: Continue in Sin
“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins…”
To quote Once Upon a Time, “magic always comes with a price, dearie.” Magic, in this case, is sin. Jesus paid the price for everyone’s sins on the cross. If we accept the gift of salvation and turn away from our sinful ways, we will not have to pay the cost of our sin. Conversely, if we continue to dwell in sin, we are ignoring God’s commandments. Therefore, if we are ignoring God and are more willing to feed our hunger for contentment in sin rather than in a relationship with our Heavenly father, we’re not really accepting the terms and conditions of salvation, are we? Please consider that fate if you choose this option.
Option 2: Quit and Repent
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
-1 John 1:9
No matter where you are in life, no matter what you have done in the past, God is willing to forgive you of your sins if you accept Jesus’s gift of eternal salvation. The thing is, if we want to hold fast to our salvation, we can’t choose Option 1 (see above) any time we please and still expect God to give us a clean bill of health. God knows everything, including our individual hearts, meaning He can tell where our loyalty lies. If our loyalty lies with Him, He will know it because we will turn away from sin. Sure, we may still slip up now and then, but He will know that we are trying our best to rid our lives of sinful behavior. Therefore, repentance and turning away from our sin is the first step to getting back on track with God.
Remember There’s Always a Rope to Hold on to!
“It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” -Lamentations 3:22
Just because we backslide, it doesn’t mean that we’ve fallen off the cliff completely. Jesus welcomes us back every time we stumble, and always offers a helping hand if we are willing to accept it. We don’t have to be consumed by guilt if we fall off of the straight and narrow path God has set out for us, for Jesus will always have compassion on us if we turn to him with a loyal heart. Hold on tight to the rope Jesus has thrown you every time you stumble.
Goodnight, and God bless!
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Photo Credit Attributed to: David Platt, christianbook.com