I recently stumbled upon a blog post by Pastor Joe Thorn (www.joethorn.net) in which he summarizes 25 signs that you are in a back-slidden state from a book entitled Revival by Richard Owen Robert. I have to admit that I have not fully vetted the book, nor the blog on which this was posted. But what I can say is that biblically, these points are right on and I wanted to share them with you here. Thanks goes to Pastor Thorn for his summary. Read through them and take stock, as I did when reading them, as to whether or not any of them might be a warning to you of a waining zealousness for Christ and His presence in your life.
"In his book, Revival, Richard Owen Robert lays 25 evidences of a backslidden condition. He expounds on each, but I’ll just give you the points here. Consider them seriously.
1. When prayer ceases to be a vital part of a professing Christian’s life, backsliding is present.
2. When the quest for biblical truth ceases and one grows content with the knowledge of eternal things already acquired, there can be no mistaking the presence of backsliding.
3. When the biblical knowledge possessed or acquired is treated as external fact and not applied inwardly, backsliding is present.
4. When earnest thoughts about eternal things cease to be regular and gripping, it should be like a warning light to the backslider.
5. When the services of the church lose their delights, a backslidden condition probably exists.
6. When pointed spiritual discussions are an embarrassment, that is certain evidence of backsliding.
7. When sports, recreation and entertainment are a large and necessary part of your lifestyle, you may assume backsliding is in force.
8. When sins of the body and of the mind can be indulged in without an uproar in your conscience your backslidden condition is certain.
9. When aspirations for Christlike holiness cease to be dominant in your life and thinking, backsliding is there.
10. When the acquisition of money and goods becomes a dominant part of your thinking, you have clear confirmation of backsliding.
11. When you can mouth religious songs and words without heart, be sure backsliding is present.
12. When you can hear the Lord’s name taken in vain, spiritual concerns mocked and eternal issues flippantly treated, and not be moved to indignation and action, you are backslidden.
13. When you can watch degrading movies and television and read morally debilitating literature, you can be sure you are backslidden.
14. When breaches of peace in the brotherhood are of no concern to you, that is proof of backsliding.
15. When the slightest excuse seems sufficient to keep you from spiritual duty and opportunity, you are backslidden.
16. When you become content with your lack of spiritual power and no longer seek repeated enduements of power from on high, you are backslidden.
17. When you pardon your own sin and sloth by saying the Lord understands and remembers that we are dust, you have revealed your backslidden condition.
18. When there is no music in your soul and no song in your heart, the silence testifies to your backsliding.
19. When you adjust happily to the worlds’ lifestyle, your own mirror will tell the truth of your backsliding.
20. When injustice and human misery exist around you and you do little or nothing to relieve the suffering, be sure you are backslidden.
21. When your church has fallen into spiritual declension and the Word of God is no longer preached there with power and you are still content, you are in a backslidden condition.
22. When the spiritual condition of the world declines around you and you cannot perceive it , that is testimony of your backslidden stance.
23. When you are willing to cheat your employer, backsliding is apparent.
24. When you find yourself rich in grace and mercy and marvel at your own godliness, then you have fallen far in your backsliding.
25. When your tears are dried up and the hard, cold spiritual facts of your existence cannot unleash them, see this as an awful testimony both of the hardness of your heart and the depth of your backsliding.
(taken from Revival, Richard Owen Roberts)"
If you, as I did, read these and had a still small voice tell you that any one of these hits too close to home, do not worry or fear, just do as the Word dictates...
““Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.” (Joel 2:12–13, ESV)
Take time right now to kneel before the Lord in heart, mind, and body and remember His love for you and His desire to be everything in your life. He has not left nor forsaken us and He is quick to take us in His arms. Remember that Jesus loves you! Then ACT on knowledge of this truth.
“And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.” (Luke 15:20–24, ESV)