I will never leave you.

What is backsliding? – Part 1

“As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.”   ~ Proverbs 26:11

Yes, this thought is pretty disgusting . . . but so is sin! This should help us understand how disgusting our sin is to God. Satan is continuously candy coating our iniquities to try to make them acceptable. He wants nothing more than to distract and turn us away from God’s plan. We are overcome by the devil’s evil urges and slide right back into our old sinful ways when we listen to his lies.

We choose to give in to these evil urges rather than hold our ground and utilize our God-given gift of self-control. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, it’s a power we are already endowed with by the indwelling Spirit of God.

Backsliding always happens when we choose to listen to Satan and give up on God. It’s when something happens in our life that we don't understand, we don't want or didn't plan. It’s when we get angry with God and feel He’s failed us, when the devil does something to trip us up and then convinces us to blame God. These are always the times when Satan plants his seeds of doubt in our minds—those “Where’s God now?” thoughts.

These are the times we need to get into the word of God the most and and try to remember all the times He came through for us in the past. These are the times we need to call out to God and pray the hardest!

I will never leave you.

We backslide away from God and fall back into our old bad habits when we feel like there’s no hope. We want to hide somewhere, in something, so we run back to our old safety net, our feel good place.

These addictive habits can take control over us because we haven’t filled the space that they occupied with something else. If we accept that we need a place to run when the temptation hits, we have to plan ahead and replace our old bad habit with a new good habit. The Bible clearly tells us the danger of not doing this, not only does the addiction return, it returns with a vengeance!

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”   ~ Matthew 12:43-45

We will always backslide when we try to get rid of some unclean thing in our life if we forget to put something clean in its place. We must replace the evil spirit that binds us to our bad habits with the Holy Spirit that sets us free.

I replaced the bad habit of smoking with prayer and chewing gum, drinking, with prayer and fruit juice, and I always believed God would empower me as I diligently prayed every single time I had the urge to backslide. And believe me, there were plenty of times.

We often fall away because we allow the world to draw us away from God. We listen to the voice of doubt, become discouraged and fall into the pit of depression. We get trapped in Satan’s fearful mindset and allow him to lead us back to our carnal hiding place, our old place of comfort and sin.

It’s like a pair of old worn out shoes, they feel good even though they're really bad for our feet. There’s a sick comfort to our old bad habits that calls to us when we’re tired and weak. But truth be known, when we are our weakest is actually when we can be our strongest, this is precisely when we can become empowered by Almighty God! All we need to do is call to Him, shout out His name . . . “Jesus help me!” When we stop trying to do it on our own and let Him go to battle for us, when we give up, He takes over!

”And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”   ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Now that we’ve begun to understand how to stop with all the backsliding… join me next week as we continue to ask the same question . . . how do we keep from backsliding.

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You might say that I was a rather late spiritual bloomer, tripping my way into the Lord's arms not all that long ago. Nevertheless, I've been on the fast track ever since through a decade of Bible study courses and daily devotion. Changing careers a few years back and becoming a published author of Christian motivational books, leading to spiritual children's books and now this blog.

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