The dictionary defines backsliding as “relapsing into bad habits, or undesirable activities” – and unfortunately, every believer is prone to this misfortune. However, we do not have to be victims. After all, is anything greater than Christ? In addition, being sensitive to some of the primary triggers of backsliding can help us guard against temptations in the first place:
Drifting: As a friend recently described it, backsliding is much like floating on the ocean’s tide. If we’re not paying attention and working to stay aligned with our spot on the beach, we eventually discover we’re nowhere near where we need to be. Likewise, may we never allow ourselves to become distracted from our prayer, active church fellowship & study of God’s word (1 Corinthians 16:13). For as believers, if we choose to neglect these desires, we may soon realize we’ve allowed ourselves to drift farther from our Lord than we ever need to be.
Doubting: We all face bouts with doubt, but if we permit ourselves to drift and aren’t anchored in our relationship with Christ, our spiritual guard is weakened and we become more vulnerable to acting on our temptations (James 1:14). God can handle any doubts we may have and when we investigate them through His word, we find His truth overpowers any doubts Satan and the world may be trying to throw our way.
Doing: We may have drifted. We may have doubted, and we may have found ourselves then “doing” the exact things we know we ought not do, but that doesn’t have to remain our story (Romans 7:21-25). For even though we are all prone to stumble, as Christians, we are also all recipients of God’s grace, and it’s never too late for His redeeming power to heal a repentant heart.
Application: “Hope For The Prodigal” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
No matter if it’s a loved one, or even ourselves, there is hope for those who may have strayed. For as His children there is nothing that can snatch us from our Father’s hand. We are His and even though it may take time, trials and tribulations, if we persevere in our prayers and rely on His promises and providence, there is always hope that the prodigal will return home to the open arms of Jesus.