"I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely . . . (Hosea 14:4)
Many of us have heard of the term “backsliding”. It sounds nasty but what does it mean? It literally means to turn your back on the Lord and slide away from Him. It’s an Old Testament term and is used in reference to what Israel did to God when they turned from Him by worshiping idols. We know Christians can have this experience of backsliding, too. Some examples are found in the story the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), Peter (Luke 22), and Demas (2 Tim 4:10). Maybe you “backslid” or “fell away” from the Lord at one time and can relate to what I’m saying. And maybe there’s someone in your life right now that had a strong walk with the Lord but is now in a backslidden state. How should we view them from Scripture and how can we pray for them?
1) Backsliding is replacing God with the desires of the world - (Jer 3:6) . . . "Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot.
2) There is a terrible progression (or digression) to backsliding - (Isa 57:17) . . . And he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.
3) There are consequences to backsliding - (Pro 14:14) The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways . . .
4) God can heal our backslidings if we are tired of the world and ready for a full commitment to Christ - (Jer 3:22) "Return, you backsliding children, And I will heal your backslidings." "Indeed we do come to You, For You are the LORD our God.
5) God wants to strengthen your love-relationship with Him so you’ll never have to backslide again! - (Hosea 14:4) "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely . . .
Read the story of the prodigal son and learn from his example that you reap what you sow when you backslide (Luke 15:11-32; Gal 6:7-9). How much better it is to “frontslide!” Keep walking with Jesus and moving forward (Phil 3:12-14). This world has nothing to offer but pain and misery and will leave you ripped-off by the devil. But Jesus has offered abundant life to the full so let’s keep pressing on! (John 10:10)
If you’re backslidden, then return to the Lord and He will heal your backslidings. If you know of someone who is backsliding, then claim these scriptures and be patient like the Father who waits for that wayward son to return and the rejoicing to begin!