BACKSLIDERS – CONTENT IN THEIR STATE
“A believer may fall into a drowsy state of soul—not so profoundly as to be entirely lost to the voice of his Beloved speaking by conscience, by the Word, and by providence; yet his grace may have decayed so far, his love may have grown so cold, and his declension may have been so hardened, that he is content in this state. Oh, alarming symptom of soul-declension: the indulgence of laziness and self is preferred to a visit from Jesus” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 28th)!
“They are converted; they know what it is to have assurance and faith; they believe in pardon for sin; they begin to work for God; and yet…there is none of the beauty of holiness or of the power of God’s Spirit in them” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p9).
FATHER, backsliders have walked in Your ways long enough to have “…seen the light, gotten a taste of heaven and been part of the work of the Holy Spirit…” (Heb 6:4-8 MSG). They have personally experienced the sheer goodness of Your Word and the powers of the age to come (Heb 6:5) but have, at some point, turned away from CHRIST. (These words in Hebrews may describe one who has never experienced regeneration but these Scriptures also fit the definition of a backslider.)
GOD…”would walk with them all the day long, and sun them with the unclouded light of His countenance. But when He hides Himself for a little moment, He is driven from their embrace by their lukewarmness of heart and unkind resistance of His love” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 28th).
FATHER, You tell us to not grieve Your SPIRIT; we grieve You when we do that. There are endless ways we injure You, GOD. How continually You must discipline us to move us back into a right relationship with You. We are constantly “high maintenance.” But that shows Your longsuffering love and faithfulness. Once we are reunited we possess much to praise and glorify You.