Return, you backsliding children, And I will heal your backslidings.
Indeed we do come to You, For You are the LORD our God. (Jer 3:22)
Backsliding is very serious. The backsliding of the people of Judah led to the fall of Jerusalem and Judah. Throughout history, God has called for His people to return. “Ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls” (Jer 6:16, NIV). After the exile, the Israelites finally returned to the Lord and His law.
Christians can become backsliders when they lose their fellowship with God, have a cold or lukewarm heart, or fall into sin. We need to be alert so as to not become loveless, lifeless, or lukewarm believers as described in the book of Revelation to the churches in Ephesus, Sardis, and Laodicea. In the first steps of our Christian lives, we may have had enthusiasm without knowledge. Do we now have knowledge without enthusiasm? If you find yourself feeling indifferent to church, to God, or to the Bible, you have begun to shut God out of your life.
Backsliding can be caused by many things. It may not be caused by all harmful activities, such as gambling or drinking, but could be caused by some innocent activities like sports, academics, career pursuits, or even family care that occupies so much of our time that it draws us away from God.
In any case, whatever the problem might be that leads us away from God, it must be dealt with honestly and brought before Him in repentance. We must always fight against backsliding, but if we do backslide, we know that when we repent and return to God, there is forgiveness and reconciliation. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn 1:9).
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Rev 3:20)
Jesus is knocking on the door of our hearts every time we sense that we should turn to Him. He waits to have fellowship with us, and He wants us to open up to Him. He is patient and persistent in trying to get through to us, not breaking and entering, but knocking. He allows us to make decisions that may draw us nearer to God, or cause us to fall away. We need to decide whether or not to open our hearts and turn back to Him.