Basically, in the kind of classic Christian, Biblical terminology - backsliding is simply this: when a person decides to part ways in their relationship with God to do their own thing. There are many examples of people backsliding in the Bible - of which I get will get into at a later point in this blog series.
And I feel in my guts like it will be a series (maybe 3 or 4 entries), because this is a massive issue in the church, the body of Christ these days.
Right now I'm just going to communicate a dream I had this morning as I was lying before the Lord in my office :)
I dreamed that someone very close to me was going to divorce the man she had spent decades of her life married to - having spawned kids and grandkids with, for no reason other than some of the emotion of the relationship was now waning. At first I had strong emotions but still loved this person. Then she took it to the next level and actually was degrading and demeaning her husband (whom she planned to divorce) in front of others. At this point in my dream I couldn't take it anymore... I yelled out "PEACE!" and started to run. Then I woke...
I woke up confused about the dream, because in the natural this train of events was extremely unlikely. Then I felt the Holy Spirit gently speaking to my heart. He told me,
"When people backslide away from me, they are practicing for their divorce with their future spouse. Because if they cannot love me, a perfect Father, a perfect friend, who is always there for them. I promise to never leave them or forsake them. I am love and life and the perfection of all they need. If they cannot work out their relationship with me. If they run from me... surely they will not have the character and wisdom developed to sustain a marriage covenant with a person still struggling through this life..."
God's truth hit me hard... because I've seen many people so far in my church planting experience completely turn their back on God and his goodness, simply because it's either 'too hard' or 'I just want to have fun while I'm young'. The problem with these excuses is that they are completely rooted in selfishness and what feels easier in the moment. I understand that it feels easier to not allow your heavenly Father to expose and change some of the harmful mindsets inside that we have clung to for a sense of identity. I understand... but what happens when you are married and you will have to face many of the exact same issues of walking in love and selflessness - yet you have not practiced with the One who is perfect?
Food for thought... part 2 tomorrow.