“Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslides …”
Scripture describes the backslidden state as: serving two masters, forsaking the Lord, going our own way, leaving our first love, forgetting God, falling away, turning aside (“like a deceitful bow,”), growing cold, departing from the faith, putting a hand to the plow and looking back (Lk 9:62), “salt that has lost its savor” (Mat 5:13), “a dog returning to his vomit” (Prov 26:11), a dead branch (John 15:6; Heb 6:8). Forsaking assembly.
Lots wife would be an example of looking back! Hebrews 10:39
And we are not of those drawing back to destruction, but of those believing to a preserving of soul.
Young’s Literal Translation
This “looking back” is not merely reflecting to evaluate the progress made since one decided to leave the world. Instead, it is like Lot’s wife, who looked back with a degree of longing to return to what she had left.
Her life was literally on the line, and rather than being fully engaged in surviving, she placed a higher priority on life’s lesser matters than on the greater one of preserving her life through God’s gift of protection. We do not want to be the virgins with no oil when He comes…He comes quickly when the worldly are not expecting Him!
SOME INDICATIONS OF BACKSLIDING (Not all inclusive)
(1) Formality in worship – “going through the motions” so to speak.
(2) Absence of joy in general and of the things of God in particular. (Bitterness steals joy)
(3) Religious bondage – This is similar to #1. We find our religious “duties” onerous, and yet carry them out much like a dutiful albeit unloving wife who sees the marriage covenant as forever and seeks to fulfill her “duties” to her husband.
(4) Uncontrollable anger, for when the Spirit fills us we are enabled to control our anger and our tongue (Eph 4:26-27, 29) Verse 65 Give the devil an opportunity “GIVE PLACE” Topos An inhabited place
(5) An unloving spirit that instead of looking for the best in others, continually puts the worst construction on their conduct.
(6) A fault-finding spirit, judging even the motives of others, placing blame on others, judging them harshly.
(7) Waning interest in the Word of Truth and Life. This may be one of the most telling and serious symptoms, because without the continual spiritual nourishment provided by the Word, we place ourselves in danger of backsliding even further!
(8) A lack of interest in secret prayer (Ouch!)
(9) A lack of interest in seeing souls saved and revived. Failure to pray for and/or share the Gospel with those dead in their trespasses and sins.
(10) No interest in reports of revivals indicating a significant movement of the Spirit of God.
(11) No significant interest in missions and outreach to the unreached people groups of the world.
(12) No interest in benevolent enterprises (orphans, widows, poor, etc).
(13) A lack of interest in holiness (progressive sanctification).
(14) No interest in souls who are recently converted.
(15) Prayers that are self/inward focused rather than others/outward focused.
(16) Increasing interests for the things of the world than the things above (Col 3:1, 2).
(17) A conscience that is not tender, not easily offended by sin.
(18) Fear of man prevails over fear of God.
People can turn your heart from God. Churches can walk away from God. Love of the world can turn your heart from God.
Backsliding opens doors to demons. Along with this comes guilt, shame and condemnation. Tormenting spirits and hindering spirits work to keep you from reconnecting with God.
People trapped in this will have a constant back and forth…In the Lord then back to the world. As much as they try they are unstable and need to repent, renounce, and ask forgiveness for turning away from God.
“Decline from faith to infidelity or decline to error about the meaning of the Scriptures”.
“Hearts decline from the love of God and goodness…to some carnal vanity…at the same time, the thoughts of God grow less serious and pleasing…and the means which should kindle love are used with more dullness, remissness, and indifference…”
This is the kind of person whose outward life remains pretty much the same. He doesn’t fall into gross sin; he doesn’t renounce the faith; he doesn’t quit going to church; he still reads the Bible and prays. But his heart is no longer in it.
“Fall from duty toward God or man; or fall into positive sins and turn to sensuality, worldliness, or pride”.
He quits going to church; he no longer prays or reads the Bible; and so on. Or he starts drinking heavily; he leaves his wife for another woman; and sins of that kind. They fall into error; they fall into hypocrisy; they fall into visible sin.
“These people draw near to Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me”.
And then, what about your obedience? Is it starting to slack off? Are you giving into temptation more quickly and fully than before?
TRUE SIGNS by Baxter
“You grow bolder with sin or with the occasions of it, and temptations to it than you were when you were more watchful”.
This means you hesitate less about your sins. And that you permit yourself to be tempted more often than you did when you were more devoted than you are now. Think about the places you now go or the movies you now watch. Once upon a time, you were more careful about temptations than you are now.
“You make a small matter of those inward corruptions that once grieved you”.
This is a sure sign of backsliding. When you care only about what you do–not what you are inside.
“When you settle into a course of religion that puts your flesh to little cost in labor in your calling.
If your faith no longer demands self-denial, it’s a faith in decline. If it no longer looks weird to unbelievers, it’s backslidden.
Sometimes your prayer life or Bible reading will be dull and dead. This doesn’t mean you’re backslidden. But when you don’t care that they are–then you’re backslidden for sure.
5.”When you grow cold to God and Jesus Christ, and have little converse with Him in the Spirit; and your thoughts of Him are few and cold and lifeless; and when your religion lies all in conversing with good men and good books and outward duties”. A lack of worship and praise…. Scripture calls worship a sacrifice to God. (Heb 13:5)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
“When you become negligent of your hearts”. (Rom 12:1)
This speaks for itself. Religion without heart.
“When spiritual helps are less [valued] and you grow indifferent to sermons, prayers, and sacraments you once could not live without”.
Preaching, public prayer, the Lord’s Supper, and so on, are not ways to fill up time! They’re means of grace or channels of blessing. If they no longer do you good, then you’re backslidden.
“When you grow too regardful to the eye of men and regardless to the eye of God”.
Some people go to church to be entertained. If the sermon is too long or not interesting enough, they dislike it–even if it’s true and edifying. That suggests a carnal mind.
“When you grow more indifferent of your company and set less by the company of serious, godly Christians than you did, and are almost as well pleased with common company and discourse”. Or forsaking the assembly altogether…the enemy wants to separate us from ourselves others and God.
JOHN GILL COMMENTARY And an assembling together ought not to be forsaken; for it is a forsaking God, and their own mercies, and such are like to be forsaken of God; nor is it known what is lost hereby; and it is the first initial outward visible step to apostasy, and often the issues that follow it it. (Apostasy is the final attempt of the enemy to kill steal destroy)
The vigorous believer craves fellowship; the backslider prefers small talk. There’s a place for both, of course, but when godly conversation starts boring you, you know you’re backslidden.
“When you grow more impatient of reproof of sin and [cannot bear] being told anything in you is wrong”.
Are you sensitive about being corrected?
“When your daily repentance becomes a lifeless work”. True repentance is turning back to Christ and giving up the sin. It is turning from “DEAD WORKS” Heb 6:1 In the Heb 6 chapter we find the doctrines of Christ! Repentance from dead works is first…then “Faith”…this is God’s order and direction…we cannot go to Faith #2 on the list and ignore #1 Repentance.
Repentance is burning down the carnal house. You cannot go back (Ashes)
This is a sharp observation. I assume you confess your sins every day. This can become a dead routine. Your sins must be confessed–but not only that. They must also be felt/grieved/hate them
“When you grow more uncharitable and critical of brethren…”
“When you grow less compassionate to the ungodly world”.
“When you thirst after some worldly contentment over thirst of the WORD.
“When sense, appetite, and fleshly pleasure grow so powerful you cannot deny them…”
“When you are more proud and impatient and cannot bear disrespect…”
“Lastly, when you had rather dwell on earth than be in heaven”.
Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth I choose to confess, repent, renounce and forsake participation with __Backsliding_____ (identify) I ask for forgiveness and renounce all curses associated with the spirits assigned to me and that the curse be broken in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
I recognize and take responsibility in the generations of my family on both sides going back to Adam and Eve for our participation with all spirits of (identify)
I release myself from any guilt, shame, condemnation and any curses due to _Backsliding_____ (identify)
*Lord Jesus, I shatter, cut off and dissolve the power of the spirits of____**___ (*Name them all)
AWOL Lust perversion rebellion (hard heart) Bad habits vices worldliness’
Apostate unfaithful unbelief
Backslider double minded apostasy
Betrayer Criminal Defector Delinquent Derelict Escapee Escaper
Lawbreaker Maroon No-show Recreant Refugee Renegade Runaway
Shirker Slacker Traitor Truant Lover of the world
In my life.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I cancel all of Satan’s power and authority over me because of _Backsliding_____ (identify) In Jesus’ mighty name I cast you out and command you to go quietly now.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command all tormentors and principalities of bitterness, self-bitterness, jealousy and envy, rejection, fear, doubt/unbelief, occult, and any other spirits that have been assigned to me because of _Backsliding______ (identify) to leave me now, without causing any damage, and go to the dry place.
Father God, Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Holy Spirit thank you for cleansing and healing my heart, my soul (mind, will, emotions), and body, Please refill me and reveal your loving words of truth to me.
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