The Guardian Angel
I’ve got my Guardian Angel watching over me,
Yet I must still step carefully.
I’ve been given the choice to decide,
But if I’m not careful I just might slide.
The same holds true for my spiritual walk,
I must take time with Jesus daily; and talk,
Cause if I’m not careful I could just fall down,
Then my feet won’t be on solid ground
So I will live my life prayerfully
And take each step through life carefully
Then I will be sure to keep
My Guardian Angel
Watching over me.
Danise Nowak Hahlbohm
In this study we will use the migration of the house of Israel from Egypt to Canaan to illustrate our Christian walk. The original readers of the Book of Hebrews were Jewish Christians who were being tempted to lapse back into Judaism because of persecution. Like them and like the migratory Israelites, our faith in God occasionally wavers.
Backsliding, unlike Repentance is not instant, but rather occurs in gradual subtlety, sometimes without the realization of the backslider. It begins with the neglect of the Word, followed by its substitution with a shift of focus on human leaders and rituals just like the first century Jewish Christians who focused their attention on Moses and legalism.
Focal Passage(s): Exodus 5, Numbers 13,14Hebrews 3:1-6
Memory Verse: ”Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works…” Revelations 2:5
We can resist the temptation to fall into the sin of backsliding by focusing on the Eternal God through Jesus Christ by honouring Him above spiritual human leaders and religion.
A Lesson From The River Shrimp
In Colombia there is a popular saying: “Camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente.” It means “The shrimp that falls asleep is swept away by the current.” As Christians, we are swimming against the current of the world. If we stop swimming, we are swept away by this current. Our walk with the Lord is not a fixed path up to a mountain top where we can sit still. The moment we stop walking with the Lord, we begin to slip away from Him. Our relationship with Him is not static, but dynamic.
Do well and locate yourself the following map
WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
In Egypt: Exodus
A person still living a life of slavery to sin
At Kadeshbarnea: Numbers 13:18-31
A person who has received the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour and has been delivered from his sins but the joy of salvation he once knew now only resides in his memory. Although he keeps up a show of religion, he has drifted away from God little by little. He has become neither regular in Bible Study nor Prayer nor faithful in the things of God. Sincerely he is not ready to move forward
In the Wilderness
He is at least a nominal believer, but the deity of Christ has no effect on his manner of life. The Christian life seems challenging and uncomfortable and thus makes excuses for his lack of spiritual fruitfulness. He easily complains and secretly longs for Egypt even though she once enslaved him. He longs “to do his own thing”
In the Promised Land
Even with the occasional falls, he finds grace and mercy at God’s throne because Jesus is his High Priest. He can rejoice since he relies on Christ for a ceaseless supply of strength. His confidence is in God and Christ’s work in him and through him. He lives a victorious Christian life.
P.S You can be in one stage only at any moment of your life.
What If I’m Already Backslidden?
“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). Perhaps you feel it’s too late; you’ve already made a mess of things. If so, remember it often requires a shock to wake us up to our backsliding. If you are a backslider, and are depressed over how far you’ve fallen, take heart. God has allowed you to hit bottom with a bang because He wants you to recognize where you really are, and admit how far you’ve fallen from Him. He wants you to repent, not just from the catastrophic evil you’ve fallen into, but from your long backslide.
One of Jesus’ best known parables is the story of the prodigal son (Luke. 15:11-32). It’s worth noting that the one who left his father is always referred to as a “son of the father” – even by the older brother who didn’t want him back. The story represents well God’s attitude towards the backslider. It’s true he squandered his father’s blessings and turned away from him, but God still wants to welcome the repentant prodigal son back; and He rejoices greatly when he does finally return after hitting rock bottom. God wants to forgive and restore you. He forgives and forgets. He wants you to be able to say with Paul, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).
How Does the Church help?
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently” (Gal. 6:1).
Finally, our local churches need systematic teaching of spiritual basics and disciplines of the Christian life. It is true that we should progress beyond spiritual “milk,” and learn to digest “solid food” (Heb. 5:11-14); but notice that even adults need milk as part of their balanced diet. The problem is not with the milk, but with the refusal to eat meat. However, if the preaching diet consists of only “meat,” we’ll starve the new believers, while allowing the older believers to get an unbalanced spiritual diet. We need to be reminded of the basics, again and again. After explaining the fundamentals of Christian growth, Peter wrote, “I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have” (2 Pet. 1:12).
This is the best recipe against backsliding: “Run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” (Heb. 12:1-2). If we run each day looking to Jesus and enjoying our relationship with Him, we won’t stray far. God desires that we develop an intimate and personal love relationship with Him, that we come to a place where we will need no mediator before we approach Him. If the writer of Hebrews esteems Christ far above Moses (the meekest man on earth) then why should we place confidence in some ‘powerful men of God’ instead of Christ Himself? It is right to honour a teacher but wrong to solely rely upon him for an understanding of God’s Word. So is it wrong to rely on a counselor for guidance instead of the scriptures or to revere a pastor above Christ.
i. Discuss Backsliding under these headings;