Crowding God Out

“The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways” (Proverbs 14:14 NKJV).

Many of us are like Samson after Delilah cut his hair: “But he did not now that the LORD had left him” (Judges 16:20).  The church is filled with people like this, who are ignorant that the world, the flesh, and the devil have left them unaware that the manifest presence of God has left them.

Most of us are desensitized to the fact that we have stopped living with passion for our God.  We are blinded to the fact that there is little about our life that now reflects a vital love relationship with Jesus Christ.  The Bible calls this condition backsliding. “A backslider,” says Richard Owen Roberts, “is a person who was once emptied of their own ways, and filled with the ways of God, but gradually allowed their own ways to seep back until they are all but empty of God and full of themselves again” (Roberts, Revival, p. 30). Backsliding is the sin of crowding God out by filling one’s life with self.

With the Psalmist we pray: “Return to us, O God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see!  Watch over this vine, the root your right hand has planted, the son you have raised up for yourself.  Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire; at your rebuke your people perish…Revive us and we will call on your name.  Restores us, O LORD God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved” (Psalm 80:14-19).

–Adapted from Revival 101: Understanding How God Ignites His Church by Dale Schlafer.

Prayer Points

Praise God verbally, saying, “Jesus is Lord” (Rom. 10:9). Thank Christ for fulfilling God’s law for you and granting you his righteousness (10:4). Confess any attempts you are still making to earn righteousness and favor with God. Commit to a lifestyle of confessing the lordship of Jesus. Ask God to remove any lingering distrust (10:11).

Pray for God’s kingdom to come and his will to be done on your part of the earth as it is in heaven. Ask that the lordship of Christ, which we confess verbally, will be applied in just and righteous actions.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend