For any one that has been a Christian for any length of time, they have heard the word “Backslide”. This simply means that a person was once a Christian, however they have decided to leave the faith. The fact is, there are many Christians that struggle with this repeatedly. How do I know? I was one of them. For several years, I struggled with staying committed to Christ. Every time I made a commitment, I would somehow find myself back to the places I promised I would never go or doing what I promised I would never do again. Fortunately, one day I made a steady commitment to give it all to God and years later, I have never looked back. In that, I learned a valuable lesson. Backsliding does not begin at the point that a person leaves the faith; it begins in that person’s desires.
Every Christian has a season in their walk with Christ where they have to fight against the desires of this world. The Spirit and flesh are at war daily (Galatians 5:17). It is this fight that leaves many at a crossroad pondering whether to continue on with Christ or walk away from it all. In order to leave the cycle of backsliding, you must:
Evaluate Your Desires
It is important to do a heart check and be honest. Just as honesty is important to you, honesty is also important to God. Take a few minutes and ask the Lord to reveal your true desires. There are times when we may not even realize that our motives are tainted. In that honest cry, God will show you the true state of your heart. If you find that part of you still desires to take a route contrary to God, there is no need to be ashamed. Instead ask God to take that desire away from you. God would much rather you bring your issues to Him than to cover it up, only for it to increase in the long run.
Once you have identified and asked God to remove your desires, it is important to remove yourself from anything that is fueling those desires. While God works on you inwardly (your heart), then your outward (actions) must follow. We live in a social media age where everyone’s lives appear to be at our finger tips. If you find that watching the lives of others through these lenses begin to stir up jealousy or create unhealthy desires, take a social media fast. This simply means abstain from social media for a period of time and instead reading your Bible during that time. By doing this, you are filling up on the right fuel while God works on your heart. For others, you may have to disconnect from the wrong environments. Whatever it is, ensure that you step away from anything fueling the ungodly desires in your life.
Feed the Right Desires
Whenever I find myself struggling in one particular area, I choose to feed my spirit in this area. The place of struggle is the place that will need to grow, therefore it must be fed. Anything that is not being fed will grow weak and die. Therefore if I am struggling with having thoughts that are not Godly, the next step is to read scriptures about pure thoughts, listen to sermons on this subject, and fill myself with worship music. By doing this, I am feasting on purity so that I can gain strength. In some instances this may only be necessary for one day but in other instances it may take months. No matter how long it takes, it is important to do what is necessary to build a healthy desire for God in order to prevent back sliding.
Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you….. – Jeremiah 3:14
As a recovered backslider, I can truly attest that God is indeed married to the backslider. I can also attest that you are able to overcome this desire to leave the faith and be firmly rooted in God. As you spend time with God, your desires will begin to change. Do not lose hope but instead trust that God has a plan for your life. Trust that as you begin to work towards building healthy desire towards Him, He will meet you. You are an overcomer.