Monday’s Blog: Ignite The Fire In Your Spirit – Backsliding

But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

—Jeremiah 20:9

We continue our series on igniting the fire in our spirits. Follow this link if you missed any messages in this series. I am using this series in my next book: Escaping Boredom in Christianity. I am also using some of your comments in my book. I ask a couple questions at the end of each post. Feel free to answer whatever the Lord puts on your heart. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

This week I want to talk about backsliding. We all go through times when we don’t feel as close to God as we would like to. It’s important to know when we are drifting away from God, and how to find our way back to Him.

I wrote a message last year for SRL Ministries about the dangers of letting a little yeast into our marriages. I explained how we should never take our marriages for granted. If we get too comfortable in our marriages we may start to let our guard down. This applies even more so to our walk with Christ.

There are many things the Bible warns us to be on guard against. Here are a few:

  • Rebellion – “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).
  • False teachings  – “Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position” (2 Peter 3:17).
  • Losing faith – “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:1).
  • Allowing our trials to lead us to sin – “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap” (Luke 21:34, NASB).
  • The Satan’s deception – “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, NLT).
  • Our hearts (most important) – “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

This week I want to focus on sin, and guarding our hearts.

When things are going well in my life, and I am comfortable with my relationship with God, I have a higher tendency to let my guard down. When my guard is down, I start to let the “little” sins slide (what we would considered “little”). Once I allow the “little” sins to go unchecked, I become weak to the “bigger” temptations.

For example, the Bible informs us: “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19). When we don’t stand guard against wrong thoughts (sexually immoral, hateful, slanderous, etc.) we allow them to take root in our hearts.

Hebrews 2:1 says, “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” The little things God warns us against matter, because they subtly pull our hearts away from God. The further our hearts drift away from God, the less discernment and power we have to turn from sin.

I once heard a preacher say, “We are dangerously far away when we can sin with little conviction. We should run home to the Father as quickly as we can.”

The Bible says we have died to sin (Romans 6:2). Sin can no longer have control over us. So when sin does have control over us, and we care very little about it, we are in a dangerous place. We need to quickly repent and run back to God.

In the first message of this series, I shared the different classes of boredom in Christianity. Sadly, one of the most common classes we see today is the divided heart class, which is what the Bible calls “luke-warm” believers. A luke-warm Christian allows what they consider “little” sins to keep their hearts from being fully committed to God. This is one of the most dangerous places to be, as Revelation 3:16 explains:

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Jo Huddleston shared in her book, Amen and Good Night, God: “The lure of the lifestyle I left behind beckoned through my boredom with a sweet, clear voice. Boredom must be one of Satan’s most powerful and subtle weapons. He made my old ways look as attractive as ever. And so inviting. It would have been easy today for me to have stepped across seduction’s thin line and into the arms of worldly pleasure.”

Satan makes sin appealing. Proverbs 7:25-26 warns against adultery, “Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng.”

But verse 21 shows how appealing Satan makes it: “With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk.”

Verse 22-23 says how he followed her, “little knowing it will cost him his life.”

Adultery isn’t the only sin Satan lures us with. We may think a “little” lie, a “little” gossip or slander, holding on to a “little” anger or resentment, filling our eyes and minds with a “little” junk (immoral music, books, movies, etc.) doesn’t hurt us. After all, so many others are doing worse things and they seem to be doing fine.

When confronted with sin, one woman retorted, “Well, pastor so and so was doing it too.” We are responsible to live according to the Word of God, not according to what others are doing, even if they are Christian leaders. Jesus is our example. If He wouldn’t do it, we shouldn’t do it.

Every act of disobedience is a step further away from God. Those “little” things matter much more than we realize.

Kerry Johnson wrote in one of  her blogs: “I’ve found the more I seek God and His word, the less I desire things of the world.”  That’s true. The more we follow God and His Word, the more we will desire to obey Him. But the more we give into our flesh, the more we will desire sin.

I’ve heard people say, “But it’s too hard to turn from sin. I just can’t.”

With God’s help we can turn from ANY sin, if we want to. Sometimes sin has such a stronghold on us that we don’t want to turn from it, even though we know it’s pulling our hearts away from God and hurting us.

I talked to a woman once who was living with her boyfriend. She was a Christian. She knew God didn’t approve of her situation. She knew she was disobeying Him. She felt the conviction. She was uncomfortable. But she said she couldn’t stop. I encouraged her that she could stop. She could either move out, or go to court and get married right away.

God says He will ALWAYS give us a way out of sin. Sadly, we don’t always want to take His way out.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

—1 Corinthians 10:13


Heavenly Father,

We praise You for never letting us be tempted beyond what we can bear. Help us to turn from sin and turn to You. Help us never to be cold, or luke-warm. Keep that fire burning hot in our spirits for You! Help us to be on guard against the little yeast Satan uses to lure our hearts away from You. Keep our hearts filled with You so there is no room in it for things of this world.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen!


 Questions for my book:

Can you tell when your heart is drifting away from God?

The times when you’ve felt distant from the Lord, what were the causes?


*I appreciate your responses. I will not use any personal information in my book (name, email, website, etc.). Remember to come back next week as the series continues.

*If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website. Don’t wait another day!

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.

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