How does a young person keep from backsliding? How do I keep my heart and mind on God? How is God married to a backslider? If you do backslide, does God turn his back on you?
VJ from Henderson, NV.
Leaving your first love (Part 1)
Backsliding, for anyone who doesn't know, is pretty simple. The church of Ephesus had a good case of it when the Lord said in Revelation 2:4; "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love." When we have a passion for God and then exchange it in favor of our own way or the way of the world - that's backsliding.
The scripture says; "The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied from above." (Proverbs 14:14) Therefore the backslider centers his attention on himself, and satisfying his own wants.
Anyone who falls deeply and passionately in love with another person knows the joy of caring only for the beloved. All thought and activities are directed to the other; their concerns and their interests are more important than your own. Following rules and keeping a list of "don'ts" will not keep you from backsliding. Trying hard will not keep you from backsliding. Falling deeply and passionately in love with God is the answer to avoid backsliding. This is true for a person of any age.
God does not turn his back on those who backslide but his heart is broken; he is deeply grieved. He does not reject us when we reject him. There is nothing we can do that will make God stop loving us or trying to give us opportunity to return to his outstretched arms.
How do you keep your mind and heart on God? Every relationship flourishes when you invest time and effort and it is the same with God. Praying is necessary but think of praying in a little bit different way. How about sitting in a chair and inviting the Lord to sit in the one opposite you. Now start talking to him like you would your best friend whom you tell all your secrets to. Tell him the truth about everything. Listen - he might have some things to say too. If you sin, say you are sorry and go on.
The more you invest in your relationship with God, the less chance that you will ever backslide. God is never far from you so lean in and tell him you love him. I can see a big smile on his face right now!