BACKSLIDING, WHO ME?
Sliding backwards? That sounds hard…. Spiritually, it is way too easy.
Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
You and I must try daily to stay in God’s Word and in closeness to God to guard us against backsliding or picking up the habits of the ungodly or going back toward our old ways before we got saved and made Jesus the boss of our lives. We have to stay salty.
Backsliding is not losing our salvation according to John 5:24. It is losing fellowship with God or losing the closeness we have with God. A backslider is a saved person who falls, or slides, backwards into sin.
A lost sinner cannot be a backslider. You must go somewhere before you can slide back. Backsliding is a term used just for the saved. Some people stay backslidden longer than others. For Peter, it was a matter of days, for David, it was a matter of months, but for Lot, it was a matter of years.
How does someone backslide?
By putting a low value on spiritual things and high value on other things. Example: Signing up for Sunday sports tournaments that would keep you from attending your church.
Some of the examples recorded in the Bible of backsliders are:
1) Jonah. His backsliding got him into trouble, but it also caused the sailors to get into trouble.
2) Lot. He was an upstanding citizen of Sodom, but his backsliding caused even his children to look down on him.
You see when we begin to backslide, we not only hurt ourselves, but we can also hurt others. We learn that throughout God’s Word. Other people are affected when we sin.
Some sins can have consequences that last a long time. Sins/habits of parents can be passed on to their children. Our friends and family can be hurt by our sins. Our testimony or reputation can be hurt.
We realize that it’s not JUST about you and me when we decide to sin. Each one of us have people that are watching our lives who may be hurt or turned away from God when they see us doing the wrong thing. (or NOT doing the right thing)
Psalms 89:32 says, “Then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes.” OUCH! A whipping!
- What a painful reminder of the consequences of sin. You cannot backslide without suffering.
- God promises punishment to those who continue in sin. He disciplines His children. He knows that His whipping us hurts way less than what the sin will do to us. But still, a whipping is not fun.
Make no mistake. The bad choices we make will have consequences. God wants us to learn from our mistakes. He’ll let us make a few mistakes to help us learn to depend on Him. But we should become better and better and closer and closer to God each day.
How do you stop backsliding?
The cure for backsliding is to admit your sin and confess it to God and ask Him to help you to never do it again. Sometimes though, our backsliding is NOT doing things we know we should. In those cases, we need to admit THAT sin and confess it to God and ask Him to help us to DO the thing we know we should do.
Seek the Lord with your whole heart and soul, and He will forgive you.
“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)
Slide forward, not backward.