"Go and make disciples…and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you." (Matt 28:19-20)

Why we walk away

Have you ever known anyone that got saved and was so on fire for God that you could hardly stand to be around them?  And then that same person some time later seemed to just act like nothing ever happened?  Or maybe you know someone who started serving in the church only to abandon their position shortly thereafter?   There are many reasons that we could offer for this.  I’m reading a book right now by Charles W. Conn titled: “Why Men Go Back” and it deals with this issue.  He gives 6 reasons that people “defect” from the faith, backslide, or absolutely abandon God and the church.  Reflect with me on these 6 reasons and please allow the Holy Spirit to search us and let us know if any of these are issues for us:

1.  Fear
     Perhaps some leave for fear of what their ‘friends’ might think, some for fear of all they think they have to give up to be a Christian.  Maybe its the the fear of the responsibility of having to live a Godly life as a testimony of our faith that drives people away.  Surely there are many more fears that could be listed here.

2.  Lack of Spiritual Depth
     Just like the parable of the seed that falls on rocky ground….some will find themselves in an environment that does not help them grow.  If you are a new Christian especially, you must be in a church with sound bible teaching and instruction so that you can flourish in the faith.

3.  Refusal to accept God’s doctrine
     Some people just don’t want to change the way they live.  Some people just make up a God to serve in that they “pick and choose” what to believe about God.  It’s all or nothing here.  You cannot add to or take away from what God is.  He is the alpha and omega…the author and the finisher of our faith. 

4.  Discouragement
    BAD TIMES COME….SURPRISE!!!!!  The Lord Himself told us that we would have trouble in our Christian lives.  Expect trouble to come, don’t be surprised when it shows up, and be ready to call on the Lord in your time of trouble!  We all get depressed at times, but the joy of the Lord is our strength!  I think all of us have at some time been disappointed by a person or persons in the church that we respect.  The important thing is to not let your disappointment in that person or person affect your view of God.  God will never disappoint you, but men will….just give anyone enough time…and they will disappoint you!  Remember, our faith is in God, not man.  We should strive to be like Jesus, not men and women we respect.

5.  Temptation
     I think this is pretty straight-forward.   Either we give our battles with temptation to the Lord, or we are defeated by the temptation.  Just because we get saved, doesn’t mean that we will no longer have temptation.  Not even in deliverance from bondage are we immune to temptation.  I am one who was delivered from an addiction to porn.  That will always be an area of weakness for me.  I didn’t say that I struggle with it, or that I have returned to it, but the temptation of it will never go away.  The difference is that I give it to the Lord so that He can fight my battle.  I also don’t allow myself to be in situations that I can be tempted. 

6.  Persecution
      This is probably pretty rare in our country.  Thank God we still have some freedoms and we are not, at this time, physically persecuted for our faith.  We do experience some mild verbal persecution at times.  I’m sure most of us have been made fun of for our decisions, and how we conduct ourselves, and what things we will not allow ourselves to do. 

Please take some time and meditate on these things….if you are not affected by any of these, then Great!
If you know of anyone that is struggling with any of these things, please encourage them and pray for them today.  As the body of Christ we have to stand in the gap for one another and be in prayer for the needs of our brothers and sisters in the faith.   “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 NIV


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