5 Signs of a Backslidden Heart

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backslidden woman

That's exactly what we need to do when our love for Jesus turns cold. We must renew our relationship with Him!

How? We set aside blocks of quality time to pour out our hearts to Him in prayer, sharing our innermost thoughts. We lift our voices to Him in worship, singing the songs that have been so precious to us, expressing our love for Him with thanksgiving and praise.

We saturate our minds and hearts with His Word, meditating on His truths, learning of Him, growing in knowledge and grace. We think back to the wonder of those early days, and we seek to recapture that sense of divine nearness. And, whenever we feel prompted, we share our faith.

According to Matthew Henry in his Commentary on the Bible, believers who have left their first love must return and do their first works. They must go back step by step until they come to the place where they took the first false step. They must endeavor to revive and recover their first zeal, tenderness, and seriousness and must pray as earnestly and watch as diligently as they did when they first set out in the ways of God.

Then, over a period of time, as we do these things--not with a "time clock" mentality, not as a spiritual performance or out of religious habit, not to earn brownie points or somehow merit His favor, but rather because we love Him and long for Him and want to deepen our fellowship with Him--His Spirit will flood our hearts, and before we know it, He will once again become the most precious One in our lives. Then all our good works--serving Him, sharing our faith, giving sacrificially--will become expressions of love, the overflow of hearts enamored with the Master.

That's what it means to "do the things we did at first." That's what it means to return to the height we abandoned, to repent and return to our first love.

Yes, God will abundantly pardon. The Lord will receive you again, no questions asked. He has promised to draw near to those who draw near to Him (see James 4:8). As John Bunyan quaintly put it, when we take a step toward God, He takes a step toward us--but His steps are larger than ours! Now is the time to pursue the Lord with all our hearts.

Read a companion devotional.

Michael L. Brown is president of ICN Ministries, which is devoted to taking the message of repentance and revival to Israel.

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