Friday, March 23, 2012

Being Fortified Against Backsliding

Comes a time in most of our lives when we explore who Jesus is; we need and want to know God at this time. But for many this ‘urge’ comes and then goes. What was to be for our eternal blessing never stuck.

Is there a more important practice for the believer, then, to investigate and entrench—even as part, their daily recommitting to the Lord? The most vital living fortification is against backsliding, so we too can claim this, below, with confidence:

“But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved.”

~Hebrews 10:39 (NRSV)

A Fear Of Dependence Or Just Apathy?

The truth is many might lament being dependent on God—as, for them, no dependence would appear wise, safe or preferable. After all, the world coaches us to get beyond dependence. We’re to be ‘independent’ or ‘interdependent’, but never dependent. The Gospel, however, requires we depend wholly on God.

Getting into a position of wilful dependence on God—like, ‘I need God’—is the best fortification against going backwards spiritually, and going forward in growth.

Too many have seasons of renewal and enthusiastic enlightenment where there’s much spiritual progress, yet they don’t convert these seasons into a lifelong conquest adherent to truth.

They take the brightening season for granted, enjoying their newfound peace, grace and joy, but they don’t fear losing it enough to warrant protecting it by wisely planning for the future.

It appears that these are two solid causes for backsliding: a fear of depending on God and an inability to plan spirituality into the lifespan.

Wisdom Along The Spiritual Journey

What do we need most of all, having caught a sniff of the Lord’s chastening enlightenment? We need wisdom, which is discernment, and enough to imagine the future need we have of ongoing enlightenment. (I speak of enlightenment, here, of being enlightened continually in Christ.)

Discernment is the vehicle motivating us to plan ahead and make some of what we have now last for all eternity—to ensure we get beyond being duped by the Evil One, who lurks by Apathy, Comfort, Pride, and Self-Sufficiency. Any of these, and more, prevents us from making inroads in the spiritual life.

We ought to never be beyond God’s volitional reach. We are the ones who need to choose to be God’s friend, for the Lord will not force himself on anyone.


The biggest threat to our spirituality is backsliding. The only protection we have is a daily dependence on the Lord our God, which protects us, chiefly, from apathy. Comfort, pride, and self-sufficiency contest with our faith. Will we, continually, choose God over these? Daily dependence on God is our only protection.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

Written on a train.

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