Thursday, April 25, 2024

What Is Backsliding?

Proverbs 14:14, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.”

Do you know what it means to backslide? It means that you are walking backwards in your soul from God. You are smiling and waving at God, trying to convince Him that everything is okay in your life, and that you know what you are doing, and there's nothing to worry about. All the while you are still walking backwards away from God, going into a life of self and sin.

We've all done it! We are all guilty of backsliding. In fact, one of the greatest sermons I've heard heard was by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001), titled: “The Necessity Of Backsliding.” I sincerely hope and pray dear friend that you will take the time to hear the sermon, because this truth will change your life if you let it. As Dr. Hyles rightly says, you cannot be upstream until you've been downstream. You cannot ascend the mountain until you've been in the valley beneath. You cannot have joy without sorrow. Psalms 30:5, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. We cannot have any asset in life without the corresponding liability.

It is not okay to backslide, but it will happen nonetheless because we are sinful by nature and by choice as humans. No one is above committing sin, not even the best saint (Romans 7:14-25). Romans 3:10-23 teaches that all humanity are guilty sinners. We sure are! There is none that doeth righteous, no not one. Certainly not me. I am the biggest sinner I know, because I know me better than anyone. And if you are an honest person and know God, then you also see yourself as a big sinner.

Read what the prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 6:5, “Then said I, Woe is me!  for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Read what the Apostle Peter said to Jesus in Luke 5:8, “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

Read what the Apostle Paul said in 1st Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

As you draw closer to your holy God, you will feel worse about yourself because you will see your sinnership. That is a good thing. Dr. Hyles used to wisely say that he knew he was inferior, but he didn't have an inferiority complex. I think many of us struggle with feeling inferior. I have always tended to be down on myself as an adult. Some people see that in me, and a couple have even told me so. I admit that I tend to be too hard on myself.

I have to continually take my focus off myself, and put it instead on Jesus my precious Savior. If we focus on self, we will be discouraged because we are sinners at best. If we focus on family, they will let us down. If we focus on friends, they will disappoint us. If we look up to our leaders at church, they are only sinful people too. The only perfect standard in the universe is God and His inspired Word. Hebrews 12:2, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

We all backslide at times, waving and smiling at God that everything is going to be okay, while we slowly walk backwards away from Him. The truth is that we will eventually be in a world of hurt, and may back off a cliff. James 4:8, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” Every saint is either drawing nearer to our God, or backsliding away from Him.

For many years now, I have tried to be honest with God and myself, by not insanely thinking that I can make it without God in my life. I desperately need God! When we don't read the inspired King James Bible, and we fail to take the time to pray, we are literally telling God that we don't need His help and we can go it alone without Him. We all need God. Backsliding is walking backwards away from God, while pretending that all is well. Thank you for reading.

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