10 Ways to Tell You Are Slipping Spiritually

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For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.  (Hebrews 2:1) 

Know anyone who is drifting?

God’s people sometimes awaken one day and suddenly realize they have fallen away from the closeness they used to enjoy with the Lord. The signs have been there all along, but they were not paying attention.

Here are some tests I have discovered for spotting signs of slippage in my own walk with the Lord, evidence that I’m losing the intimacy with Him that always meant so much in my personal life.

10. You know you’re slipping when the big thing you look forward to on a Sunday is a football game.

Spiritual things do not excite you as much as they did at one time.

9. You know you’re slipping when reading the Bible no longer excites you, angers you, or challenges you.

Remember when you were new to the Christian faith and loved making new discoveries in God’s word?  Has that happened lately?

8. You know you’re slipping when you finally get up off the couch and get involved in some ministry the Lord has been laying on your heart and the first thing you do is start criticizing all the other couch potatoes who are only doing the same thing you have been doing all this time.

I’m remembering a family member who came to Christ in his mid-20s and was excited. A few months later, I noticed him criticizing other church members for what he perceived as their failures.  Soon, it came to light that he himself had back-slidden.  Before long he dropped out of church altogether.

7. You know you’re slipping when, after slacking off in your tithing over the past year, instead of feeling guilty, you find yourself criticizing the regular tithers for their self-righteous and legalistic attitudes.

As a pastor, I have spotted this trait in quite a few people.  You almost want to confront the critic and ask if they have been giving their offerings as generously as in the past.  Almost always, they haven’t.

6. You know you’re slipping when you can read the Ten Commandments and give yourself a passing grade on all of them.

“I feel like I’m okay,” said an unsaved man to me.  As though how he felt about himself had anything to do with anything.  Personally, I’ve noticed the closer I get to the Lord the more unworthy I feel.  Likewise, the closer we get to the light, the more imperfections we see in ourselves.

5. You know you’re slipping when you can go a whole day without praying and it not bother you one bit.

Our Lord said people “ought always to pray and not to faint” (meaning to lose heart and drop by the wayside) (Luke 18:1).  When we quit praying, we are unplugging ourselves from our power source (the Lord Himself!) and the result will soon be a weakening, a dimming, a lessening, followed by a blackout.

4. You know you’re slipping when you can have a dirty thought and justify it as “what normal humans do.”

Someone has said we should have a heart of fire toward God, a heart of flesh toward other people, and a heart of iron toward ourselves.  The point (of the last) being that we should be tough on ourselves, and not lenient.  Self-discipline, it’s called, and it’s a big thing to believers.

3. You know you’re slipping when you feel a nudging from the Holy Spirit to speak to that person or give to this one or make a phone call to another and you squelch it.

Quench not the Spirit (I Thessalonians 5:19). When the Spirit prompts us to do something, we should take that as a wonderful evidence that we are His and privileged to serve Him.  Jesus said, My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow Me (John 10:27).  Obedience tells the complete story on us, friend.

2. You know you’re slipping when you decide to reward yourself for doing well by skipping your Bible reading and prayer for that day.

I fear for any of us who think we are our own masters, who take orders only from ourselves, and who give ourselves passing marks too easily. Now, the opposite can be as burdensome–those who are too tough on themselves, never measuring up, never allowing themselves to rejoice in the Lord.  But either extreme is bad.

1. You know you’re really, really slipping when the problem of slipping doesn’t cause you great concern.

Staying close to the Father is always job number one for the believer.  I recall the Scripture which says, The Lord is with you when you are with Him.  That’s 2 Chronicles 15:2 and it’s a keeper. So the question becomes how to stay close to the Father. And the answer to that is simple:  Obey Him.

Our Lord said, If you love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).  Interestingly, after recording that, the Apostle John gives us several variations on the same principle in this and the following chapter….

He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me (14:21).

–If anyone loves me, he will keep my word (14:23).

–He who does not love me does not keep my words (14:24).

–If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love (15:10).

–You are my friends if you do what I command you (15:14).

Anyone see a trend here?  Smile, please.  The Lord has made it plain what He expects and what we can do to enjoy a loving relationship with Him.  And isn’t that what we all want?!

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