One more Sunday school in church and the topic "Backsliding" comes to an end. We have already spent four consecutive sessions digging in this sensitive matter with the help of Allan Douglas' One Hundred Bible Lessons.
Considering myself the role more as a facilitator and bible student than as a Sunday school teacher, I've also once asked "who will be the next to leave the Lord?" and the quick initial response, with others too I believe, was "not me!"
With this in mind, it should be realized that we are just allowing ourselves more vulnerable to the enemy's attack. A timely warning by Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:12 should instead restrain us from trusting our own strength: "So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!"
To note, a believer does not backslide in a snap. It is a gradual process which starts from "many little things" and have grown into outward manifestation of terrible sins. It's like giving a finger to sin and the next thing you know, your whole body and soul is already in bondage with it.
Now, having understood the danger of overconfidence, we might want to figure out the symptoms of a backslidden heart. Taking Douglas' definition, backsliding is "turning away from God (1 Kings 11:9) and "growing cold... leaving the first love (Revelation 2:4)." He stressed, "speaking generally, backsliding is growing cold and losing interest in the Lord, the Bible, prayer, church attendance and witnessing, and turning toward the world."
I admit that as the lesson progresses, the frailty of men becomes more evident. Though convinced that we are all kept by the grace and strength of the Lord, still, staying in shape remains a daily battle.
Certainly, Christ is always able to keep us (2 Timothy 1:12), however, if we deliberately refuse His grace and assistance, we will fall. But for those who have grown cold with God, His invitation to return (Jeremiah 3:22) and the promise of pardon (Hosea 14:4) are always true for the repentant soul.
The true believer of Christ hates backsliding, but joyfully lives on looking unto Jesus.