Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Backsliding - October 13, 2010

Deuteronomy 8:11-14 (New Living Translation)
11 “But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. 12 For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, 13 and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! 14 Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 8:17-18 (New Living Translation)
17 He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ 18 Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.

1 Corinthians 10:12 (Amplified Bible)
12Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin].

Do you find yourself falling back into the very things you gave up when you first accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Have you taken your faith for granted or lived so casually that you find yourself trapped in the same old habits you once had? It is easy if you are not careful to find yourself "backsliding" as a Christian.

This is especially true if you hang out with the same group of friends or surround yourself with the same "junk" you gave up. It can also be true if you get disappointed with God after a particularly tough challenge, difficult event or tragedy in your life. You might choose to turn you back on God for awhile, thinking that He really doesn't care. It is also true if you become overconfident, thinking that your faith is so strong that you will never fall back into your old sins. Your pride becomes a stumbling block over which you can easily trip.

In all these situations you make yourself vulnerable to attacks by the evil one. He takes pleasure in tripping up Christians and causing them to "backslide". Whenever you fall back into the same old sins you left behind, or you find yourself trapped into new ones, you find yourself in a backslidden condition. You find yourself wandering far away from God, so far that you have trouble feeling His presence, hearing His voice, or seeing Him work around you.

If you find yourself in this condition, you should not lose hope. God is a forgiving God, and He will draw you back to Himself. Jesus paid for all of your sins, past, present and future, and his grace is big enough to overcome the present condition you have put yourself in. Confess your sins to Him and admit your need for His forgiveness. Accept again His sacrifice on your behalf and return to Him. As the prodigal son was restored to his father, our heavenly Father will restore you to Himself.

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