There is hope for every backslidden believer. God loves you and He wants you back! He has a plan for your life and wants to see you fulfilling your divine destiny.
There is nobody more miserable than a believer who is backslidden and out of fellowship with God. They have tasted God’s goodness and the joy He brings yet they are living in a way they know displeases Him. If this is you, you may be caught up in a cycle of habitual sin and feel there is no hope to ever be free. It may seem impossible for you to serve God wholeheartedly. This is a lie designed to keep you in bondage. Freedom is possible, even if you continue to struggle. Be brave enough to start the process.
Are you backslidden and miserable?
Here’s seven things you can do to get back on track with God!
- Tell God you are sorry – Whisper to the Lord right now and tell Him you see the error of going your own way and you want to come back. Like the Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, He will welcome you back. In fact He is standing by right now to hear from you and give you a new start. We call this repentance and this is always the first step in restoring one’s relationship with God. The story of the prodigal is live-giving to the backslidden. God will put His robe of righteousness around you. He who knew no sin became sin so we could become righteous.
- Confide in God about your struggles – Tell Him straight, it’s not as if He doesn’t already know you have backslidden. There is nothing He hasn’t heard before and He can handle it. As 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We call this process prayer, but it’s really just talking to God, sharing your innermost thoughts and building a relationship with Him.
- Make that Bible App work overtime! – Read God’s Word. Ephesians tell us that we are cleansed by the ‘Washing of the water of the Word’. In Romans this is called ‘Renewing of the Mind’. The computer science acronym is GIGO – ‘Garbage In Garbage Out’. Start putting good things into your brain and see the difference this makes. As you read the Scriptures not only will you be cleansed but you will also start to receive Heavenly direction for your life. Leave those backslidden ways behind as the Scriptures empower you to more forward.
- Fast the things that you struggle with. Remember that what you feed grows and what you starve dies. Go on a fast. Ask God to help you to do this supernaturally. That way you don’t have to do this in your own strength. You will be surprised at just how much self-control you really do have as you rely on God’s strength. Fasting does not manipulate God, but it empowers you taking you to a new spiritual level.
- Do something radical to show God and more importantly yourself that you mean business. Throw away the boxes, bottles, books, magazines that feed your addiction. Have your own private bonfire if need be. Delete those apps off your phone and cancel your Internet service for a while. For those who suffer from online addictions like gambling or pornography, make sure your service provider allows you to opt out of these at source. So, no matter what device you use at home, you are no longer just one click away from stuff that is harmful to you. Burn your backslidden bridges!
- Evaluate your friendships – Consider who you spend time with – do they help or hinder your spiritual growth. Do they pull you back into a backslidden state. If they do, then you may need to put some space between you and them for a season at any rate. Perhaps, once you are stronger you may be able to be in contact again and God may use you to influence their lives. Getting back on track with God and rekindling your spiritual growth may involve some sacrifices, but it will be worth it.
- Get back into fellowship with other believers. – Go back to church. God never intended you to live in backslidden misery of in isolation but for each of us to share our burdens with each other. Surround yourself with strong believers who will pray for you, encourage you and mentor you. If you have had to deal with really tough issues, consider going for counselling with a church leader and get the help you need to overcome.
If you follow these seven simple steps you will soon find you have moved over from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light and there is no turning back. As the song says: You have decided to follow Jesus… The Cross before you, the world behind you , no turning back!
Prodigal Son images: UK Illustrator, Annalisa Jones / Shutterstock