The Fleur De Lis Summer-End Edition 2016 - Page 13

land. There is only cursing, lying and murder,and bloodshed follows bloodshed."

In heart and in mind, the Israelites replaced their ways with the ways of the pagans, drifting like a boat without its anchor. The Children of the Most High have landed in a backslidden condition. So, what causes this unfortunate condition? The biggest contributor is gradual spiritual decay.

Gradual Spiritual Decay:

You never wanted it to happen. After all, you profess the goodness of God to others. You pray--maybe not as frequently as you once did, but you pray. You thank God regularly for your blessings. You consider yourself a believer, a follower of Christ. But, gradually your fire for faith and in Christ has lessened, and now, it is all but a dim fading flame. Spiritual decline does not happen all at once, but it is a gradual process -- a decaying of the spirit--and a falling away of the heart. Gradually, your zeal for God wanes. Eventually, you start to become indifferent concerning matters of the spirit which could lead to a lack of spiritual input and sin follows. The enemy gloats because he is stealthy in his approach.

Life can get crowded with "stuff." Suddenly, inadvertently, your priorities can get out of order. Meditation on the Word of God, and prayer time with the Father become a lessor priority. It's replaced by work, kids, husband and wives, hobbies, social media and/or reading and studying other things aside from the Word of God. Sometimes, it's unhealthy or turbulent relationships that takes us away. Sometimes it's life predicaments and experiences that takes us away. You eventually become less and less concerned about soul saving whether it be the souls of our fellow brother or sister or ourselves. In the backslidden condition, you are spiritually disconnected from God and eventually, the reverence and fear of the Most High God will fade, even if only on a subconscious level. Sins become justified and you adapt to and adopt the ways of the world.

Again, though, spiritual decay is a gradual process, but the realization that you've drifted out to sea may come abruptly. When it's realized, the feeling is awful. You may feel as if you have portrayed God. There is a feeling of disconnection, discontentment, purposelessness, and overall emptiness.

However, fortunately, there are cures for the backslidden condition. And thankfully, we serve a merciful, faithful God.

Hosea 14:4 (KJV)

"I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him."

When the alarm sounds in your spirit and you realize a change is necessary to get you back on course -- and pleasing to God, you will find that the road could be short. It's wonderful that we serve such a loving Father, that God is willing to meet us half-way. However, the road may not always be smooth. God always wants us to return to Him. He loves us. So in order to wake you out of your slumber, he might cause disruption or even grief in your life to get you back to him. Scripture teaches us to lean unto him.

Psalm 121(KJV)

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help."

How to Fix the Backslidden Condition:

You must start with first addressing the symptoms (a) Spiritual lethargy (b) an apathetic attitude toward sin (c) worldliness and not living "set-apart". Just like the food we eat and the habits we practice (exercise), we are a manifestation of what we ingest or take in. We must have spiritual input in order to reflect the proper output--the sweet fruits of the spirit.

(1) Hunger for knowledge through the Word. Study so you may know what God expects of you.

(2) Pray. This is your relationship building time with God. Connect.

(3) Surround yourself with righteousness especially people. Guard your eyes and ears and distance yourself from things that are not of God.

(4) Strive to be in the World, but not of the world. Prioritize: This is very simple, God comes first and everything else follows.

(5) Be vigilant. Watch for spiritual lethargy: The enemy wants to catch you sleeping and slipping. Stay awake from slumber.

Are you in a backslidden condition? If so, do something about it. God is waiting on you!