Illustration results for backslide
TWO MILES OF DITCH
I was headed home late from a wedding reception and had about a two hour drive when a friend said to me, "Remember that for every mile you drive there are two miles of ditch".
I was in the car before that really sunk in, and then it hit me, for every path we walk, there are two miles trying of ditch along the journey inviting us to veer off the road. Twice as many chances to stray away from God.
Few of us intend to go into the ditch. No one just drives down the road and says "Hey I'm going to drive into the ditch" or appropriately "I'm going back to fishing". For most of us, it is a simple hugging of the shoulder and little by little we move ourselves from the patch of following Jesus and somehow we end up off the road and in the ditch.
“Out of Bounds”
The old shepherd who offered prayer in a Welsh revival meeting put it exactly right when he expressed grief for his backsliding in these words: “Lord, I got among the thorns and briars, and was scratched and torn and bleeding; but, Lord, it is only fair to say that it was not on Thy ground; I had wandered out of Thy pasture.” (Lawson)
"Backsliding starts in such a subtle way that most of us are not aware of it, and many of us may be backslidden and may not realize it."
You cannot backslide whilst you’re actively involved in evangelism.
"With deep repentance and sincere faith, find your way back from your backsliding. It is your duty, for you have turned away from Him whom you have professed to serve."
And what does this holy renewed heart mean? It means that we can belong to a holy nation. I don’t mean a nation on earth. I mean that we become citizens of heaven. We are different.
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
We become not Scots, or English, or Canadian, or Irish, or Spanish, or Latvian, we become God’s people, a holy nation.
Citizens, who are ruled by a different set of standards and laws. Nations are defined by the laws they create and follow. Canada has a constitution. A set of governing principles. Many times people try to change those rules in order to change the nation itself. That is why the interpretation of a constitution and set of laws is so important. When we interpret the laws a certain way that is different from before, we change the very society we live in. But God’s people live by God’s laws. Laws that are filled with grace. Laws that are life. They are laws that in the Old Testament were attested to by blood sacrifice. And to us they are attested to by the ultimate sacrifice of blood of God’s own son. And why was that necessary? It was because the people of the earth do not know that Yahweh is God. They have, we have, become distracted by other things. And in doing so give up our citizenship of heaven. We may backslide. If a person goes to another country and learns the language and speaks it as well as the people of that country. If he becomes used to the habits and the customs of that country, his own people would say he had changed so much that he had exchanged his citizenship. Regardless of whether he had the documents he would look and act like a new citizen. Paper is just paper, but what you do, and how you do it defines who you really are. And so if someone who changes from a life of selfishness to one of selflessness, if they change from bad to good we can fairly say that they are a new creation. And if they claim Christ as Saviour we may know that Christ is their new constitution. But this works both ways. Suppose that man decided that the old country wasn’t so bad after all. And he lapsed into old ways. He would regain his old citizenship and lose his rights. We must remain firm in our citizenship of heaven. And we can only do that by remaining in, and practising being a citizen of heaven.
BACKSLIDING IS MISERABLE
It is a miserable thing to be a backslider. Of all unhappy things that can befall a man, I suppose "backsliding" is the worst. A stranded ship, a broken-winged eagle, a garden overrun with weeds, a harp without strings, a church in ruins--all these are sad sights. But a backslider is a sadder sight still. That true grace shall never be extinguished, and true union with Christ never be broken off, I feel no doubt. But I do believe that a man may fall away so far that he shall lose sight of his own grace, and despair of his own salvation. And if this is not hell, it is certainly the next thing to it!
A wounded conscience, a mind sick of itself, a memory full of self-reproach, a heart pierced through with the Lord's arrows, a spirit broken with a load of inward accusation—all this is a taste of hell. It is a hell on earth.
--John Charles Ryle — (Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)
There are three classes of people in congregations today, unblessed, uncommitted and the committed. Unblessed do not believe sufficiently in God's wisdom to run their lives completely; they know it means surrender and commitment. The uncommitted aren't rebels, but they are the ones who are spiritually up and down; they hang on in the middle, not willing to trust got and let go, s...
Many of us can remember when we were in grade school how whenever the teacher had to leave the classroom for some reason, she would always tell the class to, “Be quiet and study!” However we also remember that as soon as she left the room, the paper wads would begin to fly! Erasers would be flung across the room while someone would draw caricatures of the teacher on the blackboard.
And then, she would return. There was always that last minute adjustment as we scurried back to our seats and pretended nothing had been going on.
In the book of Exodus we find Moses was called by God to go up into Mount Sinai. While he was away, the Israelites grew restless. Looking for something to entertain them, they melted down their gold, formed a golden calf as an idol and danced around it in worship.
As long as Moses was around, they were doing fine, but as soon as he “left the room,” things changed! They had forgotten all the marvelous things God had done for them, how He had delivered them, and how they were supposed to behave!
Do you recall what the people said when Moses asked about the calf (it sounds just like kids in the classroom when the teacher returns!)?
Exodus 32:21-24 (NIV), He said to Aaron, "What did these people do to you, that yo...