One of the dangers of living a comfortable life, is that you start to rely on that comfort, instead of seeking God. It is easy to backslide, and once you do, it can happen quickly. I have been in that place, where everything was great, and we seemed to have it all. There were cracks on the inside that I ignored. When you are backsliding, you focus on your wealth and “things”, not on all that needs fixing. You boost and become arrogant. ‘Who will come against me?’ God may decide that,“From all those who are around you; You shall be driven out, everyone headlong, And no one will gather those who wander off.”
It does not take much to go off course. If you have ever driven and got distracted for an instant, you realize how you have to diligently pay attention to how you are driving and what is around you. You cannot always leisurely look around. You have to keep your eyes on the road and what is around you. My car has the lane signal, so if I start to drift off course, the car flashes a light at me and the steering wheel nudges me. And, don’t we all need a nudge now and then? I do.
Why do you boast in the valleys,
Your flowing valley, O backsliding daughter?
Who trusted in her treasures, saying,
‘Who will come against me?’
Behold, I will bring fear upon you,”
Says the Lord God of hosts,
“From all those who are around you;
You shall be driven out, everyone headlong,
And no one will gather those who wander off.
But afterward I will bring back
The captives of the people of Ammon,” says the Lord.
–Jeremiah 49:4-6 (NKJV)
I am thankful when God nudges me, so I check myself. I really need to read the bible everyday, otherwise the stress of life, difficulties and uncomfortable situations make me so stressed out, that I can barely function. Reading the bible is like preventive medicine. Like during flu season, when you wash your hands constantly to avoid getting sick. Reading the bible helps you stay on course and not backslide.
When things are going well, it is easy to take everything for granted. Your health. Your family. Security. You may even boost and trust in your treasures more than you are trusting in God. Five years ago, I had everything happen at once. My husband lost his job. I needed emergency surgery. My father died. It all happened at once. I felt like my world had crashed into pieces. I had no idea how to piece them all back together again. I pulled myself up by reading the bible. It was a struggle to set aside all my stress, worries, sadness and fears to rely on God. You know what? God brought my family through it all. So, I have to be careful to never backslide again. Its too hard to go through bad times, without God on my side.
When you backslide, how do you get back on course? We get a new chance each morning to make different choices. To chose God today. Some days, I feel like I should be reading the bible all day, fasting and praying. Sometimes spiritual attacks are like a battle. Sometimes, they are whispers of doubt. Sometimes, Satan is saying some pretty crazy stuff to me, and I start to believe it. I have to pray, “Oh, Lord, rebuke Satan from me!”.
When your life is going well, praise God for your comfort. Thank God for his provision. Do not slip into the trap of feeling arrogant, boosting and trusting in your treasures. Your wealth and things will not provide you with comfort when things go wrong. You can have no material wealth, but have everything when God is on your side. You will realize that a relationship with God is the best gift of all.