Do you ever feel blessed that all is going well, your Spiritual life is good, your God conversations are full THEN you wake up one morning and feel that somehow things are different and you have slipped away? You feel that it has become hard work to go to Church, the sermons don’t hit where you are at, it’s easier to avoid Christian friends than meet with them and your relationship with God appears distant?
Why is this? It could be because of complacency or not noticing the choices and checking out the consequence of your decision making!
God gave us Free will and we make major decisions and simpler ones each and every day. The major decisions are really a series of smaller ones built up to a climax. For instance the reason why it is hard work to attend church could be because there has been an absence for a while, for good reason, but a distance has occurred. It could be the decision is:
- not to go to a church group one evening is because you don’t feel 100%, or
- not to pray for someone when prompted because you feel inadequate or overwhelmed,
- not to read a daily devotional as something else has a priority…
However, each decision to not be ‘en pointe’ with Christian life and habits has you and me slip slidin’ away from God.
Slip slidin’ from friends and family in daily life
In other aspects of life it is also surprisingly easy to slip slid away from God when you don’t give 100% to something you are doing or allow anger, disappointment or criticism to influence your attitudes and decisions.
I wonder how many times I slip slide away from God in my decisions. A moment of lapse attention which has me quarelling with my husband, Denis, instead of listening properly, or letting a thought take hold that I don’t really like the person who is preaching or in a position of authority, or just wanting to be lazy and spend some extra time doing my stuff instead of helping or encouraging another person. All these are opposite to what I am being asked to do by God. I am reminded by Paul (Ephesians 5:3-4) about attitudes which have no place among God’s people.
The thought of being one of God’s people or His child sends tingles down my spine, and I want to be in that place yet I wondered how many times I do slip away down a different path quite simply by making alternative decisions? Free will is an individual choice so my weaknesses or ‘sins’ and temptations will be different to yours. But to God they have the same affect – we slip slide away from him.
Paul Simon wrote the song Slip Slidin’ Away with the lyrics: ‘You know the nearer your destination the more you’re slip slidin’ away’. An interesting thought – perhaps this is how Resistance can creep in and we can be attacked!
Offending Holy Spirit
There are times when our behaviour offends Holy Spirit, such as when we are not at our best or even trying to achieve our best, then He slips away from us. After all, He can’t stand to be where people are blaspheming, swearing or being critical of others. Read the story of King Saul in Samuel and what happened to him when the Spirit left him (1 Samuel 16:14) his attitude and moods became very black with evil consequences.
It would be lovely to always live and work in the fruits of the Spirit of love, joy peace, longsuffering, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control yet some decision I make seem to be the reverse of these. Do you have the same issues? I know that I need Holy Spirit at my side to achieve these good habits. When I begin to slip slide into alternative ways Holy Spirit will give me a nudge, some may see this as a conscience, rather like having Jiminy Cricket on your shoulders, that we know that extra biscuit isn’t good for the body or using a sharp tone with someone is unnecessary. Yet it is our free will, making choices to our actions! The decision can be made in a fraction of wink! And, if we are not really paying attention to a momentary negative thought we go our own willful ways!
How many times have you done something or said something that you have regretted only to realise that you had been fore-warned, that you had had the thought which had warned you against it just moments before you opened your mouth? Yet before you know it, jealous thoughts, comparison of yourself with others, criticisms, judgment or laughing at someone else’s misfortune are the reality of your life.
Apostle Paul also had this type of dilemma, he knew he would slip slide away from God when he said he didn’t always understand what or why he did things, ‘For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do’ (Romans 7:15). I can relate to this!
It is actually quite easy to find out what pleases the Lord, for me when I have peace and balance in my heart and soul then I know I am ‘at one with the world!’. I’d love this to happen more often! Paul calls following God’s example as ‘walking in love’ (Ephesians 5:10).
We do need to Remind Ourselves Why We are Here.
Jesus constantly reminded himself that He came to do the Father’s will, not his own, that His life was not to seek his own pleasures but to please the one who had sent Him. (John 5:30)
So how can we follow Jesus’ example and prevent ourselves from slip slidin’ away from God?
The obvious thing to do is confess and ask for forgiveness, this may be part of circle but it is after the event! How can we prevent the decisions in the first place? Afterall, the best prevention is to stop the circle occurring in the first place.
To do this you have to see where the circle begins, and to have an understanding of your triggers. What sets you off? What destructive patterns are in your life? Can you change your reaction to them? This can only be done if you know about them in the first place!
Let’s look at the decision process and ask ourselves a simple question: Will my action bring me Nearer to God, or have me Slip Sliding away from Him? To aid this, I have set a challenge to note down decisions so they can be understood and identified. It won’t take long for you to realise which decision goes which way and then you can make healthy choices to be in His Company whenever you want!
The Challenge for you and me this week is to note down our decisions, without self criticism, judgment or justification aka excuses (Them are the rules!!!). Note down a decision you make (big or small) and later review and see if it took you nearer to God or had you slip slidin’ away? Ask the small still voice inside you—you will know. You may even surprise yourself—and you may not like the answer. I know I often don’t!
Click here for your Slip Slidin’ Chart. Fill it in to aid you recognize your decisions and consequences.
I challenge you to try it for:
- a day,
- a week or
- even a month
and let me know how you get on.
Remember, there is only one rule, there is no criticism, excuses or justification about your decision. It is what it is!
Conduct yourself in a manner worthy of Gospel of Christ …
… so you are recognized as being of the Spirit.
Watch the VIDEO – Ladey’s Broadcast on Slip Slidin’ Away and
Remember to Download your Slip Sliding’ Chart
Your Slip Sliding Chart
Send me my Chart so I can start measuring how my decisions take me
Nearer to God or Further Away