Backsliding…..Have you drifted from the Lord?

Have you found yourself drifting in your spiritual life?

“For they have perverted their way; They have forgotten the LORD their God. “Return, you backsliding children, And I will heal your backslidings. Indeed we do come to You, For You are the LORD our God. Surely the idolatrous commotion on the hills and mountains is a deception; surely in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel” Jeremiah 3:22-23

Some of the most godly kings were guilty of backsliding- Joash, Hezekiah and Solomon to name a few. They walked with the Lord,  saw visions, prophecied ,they had prophets to warn them, they saw awesome and wonderful miracles and power of God. Yet, as time went by they began to fall away from the Lord. Pride, Wealth, Fame, were some of the things that tripped them in their walk with the Lord. The Lord warned them and shook up their world to try to get their attention. Some listened and some did not.

   If King Solomon was not immune to this, neither are we.

We have to make sure the desires for this world, our busyness, forgetting God’s promises, forgetting what God has done for us, and unbelief do not enter into our minds, our lives, or our hearts.

Backsliding is a gradual process, we barely notice it. Backsliding is like drifting along the shore of an ocean- without knowing you are moving. At first you see where you are stationed on the shore with your family, chairs, umbrella. After a while of playing in the surf, you look up and suddenly your stuff is no where to be found. You have drifted so far- and you didn’t even notice you had moved. The same it is with backsliding. It’s quiet and you don’t notice it unless you stand grounded always checking yourself, making sure you are anchored and have your eyes fixed on your place. It’s easy to drift. We can get so caught up in our world, we get tired, and maybe even lazy. We are all in danger of neglecting our relationship with Him. Work hard, be alert, make the effort and seek the Lord with all your might and with all your heart

 Charles Stanley on avoiding the disaster of drifting said, “Maybe you’re caught up in the wrong crowd and haven’t attended worship services in a long time. The most disturbing part of it is that you just don’t feel God’s presence anymore. Something is happening to your spiritual life- and it isn’t good. You’re drifting, which means you’re headed for trouble” I went through the bible and found some things that we need to be careful of so we don’t end up backsliding and falling away from the Lord: that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

    Heb 6:12
Backsliding is prompted by:

1. Pride and a haughty spirit -Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
2. Spiritual blindness You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
3. Spiritual Blindness and forgetting you have been cleansed: Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Rev 3:17-18, 2 Peter 1:5-11
4. Murmuring: But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” Ex 17:3
5. Not Remembering all God has done for you/ not waiting for Him: But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
6. Lusting after evil/ Not Content: In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wilderness they put God to the test. So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease among them.
7. Envy: In the camp they grew envious of Moses and of Aaron, who was consecrated to the LORD. The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan; it buried the company of Abiram. Fire blazed among their followers; a flame consumed the wicked. At Horeb they made a calf and worshiped an idol cast from metal.
8. Idolatry: They exchanged their glorious God for an image of a bull, which eats grass.
9. Forgetting They forgot the God who saved them, who had done great things in Egypt ,miracles in the land of Ham and awesome deeds by the Red Sea. So he said he would destroy them -had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them. Then they despised the pleasant land; 10. Not believing: they did not believe his promise.
11. Complaining : They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the LORD. So he swore to them with uplifted hand that he would make them fall in the wilderness, make their descendants fall among the nations and scatter them throughout the lands.
12. Not Putting God first: They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods; they aroused the Lord’s anger by their wicked deeds, and a plague broke out among them. But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked. This was credited to him as righteousness for endless generations to come. By the waters of Meribah they angered the LORD, and trouble came to Moses because of them;
13. Rebellion: for they rebelled against the Spirit of God, and rash words came from Moses’ lips.
14. hanging around unbelievers :They did not destroy the peoples as the LORD had commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to false gods. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood.
15. Doing evil :They defiled themselves by what they did; by their deeds they prostituted themselves. Therefore the LORD was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance. He gave them into the hands of the nations, and their foes ruled over them. Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin. Yet he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented. He caused all who held them captive to show them mercy. Save us, LORD our God and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Psalm 106: 13—47 (#4-#11)
16. Envy, wanting worldly things: Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.
17. Giving up when troubles arise: Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
18. Not believing in God’s promises Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful
19. Craving Worldly desires: the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.” Mark 4:15-20 (#12-15)
20. The Love of Money: Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Tim 6:9-10
21. Forgetting God : Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath. Duet. 8:11-18: Jer 3:2-25 by the roadside you sat waiting for lovers, sat like a nomad in the desert. You have defiled the land with your prostitution and wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withheld, and no spring rains there. I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. 8 I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood. In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense(make believe or pretend),” declares the LORD. “Return, faithless people,” declares the LORD, I will cure you of backsliding Jer 48:7-8 Since you trust in your deeds and riches, you too will be taken captive, ! 29-30 “We have heard of Moab’s pride— how great is her arrogance!— of her insolence, her pride, her conceit and the haughtiness of her heart. I know her insolence but it is futile, ”declares the LORD, “and her boasts accomplish nothing.

Warning

Jer 4:19 Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of me,” declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty

Jer 5:7-9 “Why should I forgive you? your children have forsaken me and sworn by gods that are not gods. I supplied all their needs, yet they committed adultery and thronged to the houses of prostitutes. They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for another man’s wife. Should I not punish them for this?”declares the LORD. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?

Jer 8 :4-12 “Say to them, ‘This is what the LORD says: “‘When people fall down, do they not get up?When someone turns away, do they not return? Why then have these people turned away?Why does Jerusalem always turn away? They cling to deceit; they refuse to return. I have listened attentively,but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?”Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle. Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the LORD‘How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the LORD,”when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have? Therefore I will give their wives to other men and their fields to new owners.From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace. 12 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the LORD.

Jer 14:10 This is what the LORD says about this people: “They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. So the LORD does not accept them; he will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.”

Hosea 11:7 My people are determined to turn from me. Even though they call me God Most High, I will by no means exalt them.

Hosea 14:9Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the LORD are right;the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.

Prov 14:14-16The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good rewarded for theirs. The simple believe anything but the prudent give thought to their steps.The wise fear the LORD and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure Remember Him- come back to him in your thoughts.

Job 20:21 Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; Thereby good will come to you. Seek repentance before Him with a humble heart and if you have offended anyone, go and confess your offense and make peace

 “Return, ye backsliding children” Turn to Him: Come back! There is Mercy and Grace for you from the Father ready to be poured out into your life. He waits all day with open arms calling your name. Yes, come as you are- even in our wayward ways. He calls out “come back my backsliding children” he doesn’t say, come back all who are right with me – don’t think you have to better yourself first before you come back to Him. Today is the day of salvation. Don’t wait any longer. Go to the Lord and He will make your ways straight.

“But all who believe, must believe in Jesus, and repent of their sins” Charles Spurgeon, in 1886 said is best: “Come empty, ragged, filthy, just as you are, and believe in God that justifieth the ungodly. Cast yourself on Him who came to call, not the righteous, but sinners to repentence”

Put God first; Trust in Him alone. Get rid of all the idols in our lives. What do I put before the Lord?
1. Remember Him– come back to him in your thoughts. Job 20:21 Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; Thereby good will come to you. Seek repentance before Him with a humble heart and if you have offended anyone, go and confess your offense and make peace “Return, ye backsliding children”
2. Turn to Him: Come back! There is Mercy and Grace for you from the Father ready to be poured out into your life. He waits all day with open arms calling your name. Yes, come as you are- even in our wayward ways. He calls out “come back my backsliding children” he doesn’t say, come back all who are right with me – don’t think you have to better yourself first before you come back to Him. Today is the day of salvation. Don’t wait any longer. Go to the Lord and He will make your ways straight. “But all who believe, must believe in Jeus, and repent of their sins”
3. Put God first; Trust in Him alone. Get rid of all the idols in our lives. What do I put before the Lord?
4. Get rid of all unrighteousness : Stop judging others and begin to clean your heart out daily of any hidden sins. Remember there is no salvation in ourselves, but in the blood of the Lamb of God- our Savior Jesus Christ. To think ourselves so righteous is a lie. It’s all about Jesus, not us. His Kingdom only. When we were yet without strength Christ died for us. It is not our own strength or righteousness that we are saved.
5.  Job 20:21 Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; Thereby good will come to you. Seek repentance before Him with a humble heart and if you have offended anyone, go and confess your offense and make peace “Return, ye backsliding children”Today is the day of salvation.  Go to the Lord and He will make your ways straight. “But all who believe, must believe in Jesus, and repent of their sins”
  Live for Christ: die to ourselves and our desires and let Christ reign in your heart. There is no greater joy than this. From a fleshly and wordly standpoint, this doesn’t sound like something we’d want to do. When we finally do decide to live for Christ only we will find the joy, the peace and the amazing walk with God our soul desires. There you will be content and there you will find your joy. Searching for this in wordly things will never bring you to the place where you are searching. It is only found in Christ. Living for Him, If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me 8:34-35

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it Luke 9:23

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it Gal 5: 24-

 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.. Put no idols before him : We cannot serve two Gods!No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and man.

Fear God not man. Fear of the Lord defined

Sometimes we need to consider our ways, STOP at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16, Haggai 1:5,7

 Expect rejection and persecution when you do the Lords work:
Remember that they are not rejecting you, but they are rejecting the Lord our God :  
And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.1 Samuel 8:6-8 

What is the Fear of the Lord and is it evident in your life? Have you found yourself fearing man more than God?

He listens to us!
  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. Mal 3:16

BE BOLD and courageous
  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. heb 13:16

He Watches Us and Delivers us
Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

 Listen!
 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
Fear ye not me? saith the Lord:
will ye not tremble at my presence,
which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?
But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.
Neither say they in their heart,
Let us now fear the Lord our God,
that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Jeremiah 5:21-24

 The Fear of the Lord is

  1. To obey His voice
  2. The beginning of  knowledge
  3. Wisdom and knowing to depart from evil
  4. Where you find the Knowledge of God
  5. To hate evil, pride, arrogance, evil ways and filthy mouths
  6. The way to prolong our days
  7. A place of confidence in the Lord
  8. A fountain of life
  9. keeps us from the snares of death
  10. is needed before instruction and wisdom
  11. Is the instruction of wisdom
  12. Keeps us from evil
  13. Brings riches, honor and life when combined with humility
  14. Where our heart should be all day- not envying sinners
  15. One of the seven fold spirits of the Lord
  16. gives quick godly understanding
  17. Our treasure= through which we receive wisdom and understanding which results in stability and strength of salvation
  18. A Precious Key for our churches
  19. The way to increase our church family and walk in harmony together
  20. a way for our churches to walk in order to have comfort, rest and unity with the Holy Ghost
  21. what the Lord notices in your life
  22. Prepares you for the Lord’s teaching
  23. To delight in His commands
  24. rewarded with blessings
  25. Keeps you safe prov 29:25
  26. To fear God is to trust Him
  27. Our duty in Life – To fear God and keep His commands
  28. reminds us not to Trust in mans words or to be swayed by the countenance of others
  29. keeps us from fearing man
  30. the spirit of the Lord that the Lord is searching for within us
  31. To trust in His Ways, not our own ways
  32. To hope in His Mercy
  33. in that which the Lord delights to see in His people
  34. blesses us with the Mercy of the Lord and righteousness unto our children’s children
  35. The Lord taketh pleasure in those who fear Him
  36. There is no want to those who fear Him
  37. The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him! A key of our protection and deliverance in troubles because the angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them

 To Fear Man

  1. is to lack knowledge and wisdom
  2. is to be wise in your own eyes (Saul’s downfall)
  3. is a snare and a trap in your life
  4. the sign of a fool
  5. is to despise wisdom and instruction
  6. is to love evil
  7. will shorten your days
  8. is trouble
  9. envy sinners
  10. is to not honor God’s laws or commands
  11. is to despise God’s ways
  12. despise the Lord
  13. trust your own ways

 Hear the Word of the Lord:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.  In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.  The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.  By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life. Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.Prov 1:7,9:10. 8:13,2:5,10:27,14:26, 15:16, 15:33, 16:16 , 22:4. 23,17,Ps 111:10, Job28:28

  And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.  Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.  Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the LORD, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law and commandment which the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel;Is33:6, Acts 9:31, 2Kings 17:34,Job 1:8, Job 2:3 “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?  Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.  The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.   So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Ps 25:12, 112:1, Prov 29:25, Eccl 12:13, Heb 13:6

Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?  Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. Prov 3:7, Is 50:10, Mal 1:6, 3:16

 The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.  But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling Ps147:11,115:13,103:17,34:9,34:7,2:11,1

   Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

 

My Theory:

Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears. According to scripture and what the Lord has done in my life, I believe there is an order with the 7 fold spirit. I believe we receive the Fear of the Lord first because “Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom and true knowledge”. After the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord, we receive the spirit Knowledge, then might, then counsel. Next gift received after this is spirit of understanding,(Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart) then the spirit of wisdom is given (a gift) – and we are always growing and growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church.

May the Lord Strengthen and encourage you today. May He make you a bold witness for Christ.
Teach us your ways, O Lord, that we may walk in your truth. Unite our hearts to fear your Great name. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen!

  • 1- Peter’s denial of Christ.  Peter feared man in this situation- He didn’t want to deny Christ; his spirit was willing and he spoke words of strength, but when evil came to sift and shake him, he temporarily fell under pressure. He felt awful, repented, and as the Lord had prophesied, Peter went out of that situation strengthened and stronger in order to encourage his brothers (and probably with a more humble and understanding heart)
    2- Saul, Israel’s first King. He lost the throne because of two wrongs he did. The first wrong: Saul didn’t do as Samuel told him In 1 Sam 13-14, Saul decided to act in the way he thought was best- but he didn’t obey (he made excuses to Samuel for his doings) and it cost him the throne. The second test he failed is when Saul was told to attack Amalek in 1 Samuel 15. He was to destroy everything- but he didn’t. First he blamed the people (notice he didnt’ repent first) he only repented when he felt the pain of losing the kingdom. Notice Saul’s words to Samuel: “ I have sinned, I have feared the people and their voice“.
    3-Judas– took the side of man over the Lord. I know it may seem like he liked money, but I think he liked being “popular” with the “in crowd” also . Notice how he couldn’t wait to run and tell the pharisees about what he was about to do. He treasured the approval of man over the approval of the Lord. I can just see him proudly meeting in the Temple and enjoying the new-found status in his betrayal of Christ. He had the opportunity to repent and time to think about it, but he had let it sink so deep into his heart it consumed him. The devil throws wrong thoughts, ways and ideas into our thoughts like an arrow. We can choose to obey them or disregard them.

Stop Judging others, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
    Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
 Those who refuse to gossip
    or harm their neighbors
    or speak evil of their friends Ps 15:1-4

                In judging others we condemn ourselves.  If we don’t stay constantly in the Word it’s easy to fall into sin. Being a Christian does not give us a pass to judge others- however there is a scripture that says you can judge one in your church assembly to correct an issue ( 1 Corinthians 5 ) , being a protector of God’s house and His people….. The judging I am speaking of here is different, it’s about pointing your finger at everyone’s defect and never stopping to consider the huge log in your own eye, it is when you are quick to judge others when your life is weighed down in ropes of sin that you drag behind you.

1-      Gossip- Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people (Lev 19:16)
2-      Slander- Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool (Prov 10;18)
3-      Pride and haughtiness-I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride (Ps 101:5)
4-      Wrong thoughts of others
5-       Complaining about others-Do everything without complaining and arguing (phil 2:14)

Proverbs 10:19 Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.
Proverbs 18:8

This dainty morsel may bring you in to new hierarchies in the church as we join other gossipers who  quickly judge those in our churches – our leaders, our pastors and their families.   How can we call ourselves Christians when hate those leading us in the church? Instead of gossiping about your pastor and his wife, pray for them. They are the first in the line of fire for attack, they need your prayer- not your judging eyes. Let’s stop all this evil and remember God has no favorites- we are all precious in His eyes.  We are all part of one body- Christ being the head

            Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.  One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.  The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

  God’s House is not our Club- It’s HIS HOUSE
(A house of Prayer)

             A few years ago I met a new friend, but my “church friends” didn’t like her.  She was new to church and didn’t really talk or live the way we did, but I liked her. I invited her to a church service one night but my church friends were not happy about this. They told me she didn’t belong, if she wanted to go, she should go by herself and if I showed up with her, they didn’t want to sit with me.   I thought- do I need this drama? Should I ‘forget” I invited her and have a good time with my friends or should I call her and tell her I’m picking her up. As I sat in my car contemplating what I was about to do I heard a voice speak loudly into my heart “ My house is not your club” I didn’t need to think about that anymore. I called her and picked her up- the night was a blessing to her, her family and others.  When my friends saw I had brought her along, they said “why did you bring her?” and I answered “ The Lord told me that His house is not my club” We were all silenced, and one replied “Well that would have done it for me too” So a great lesson for us all! His house is not our clubhouse!

 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. ] “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven Matt 7 Luke 6:37

When we judge others, we allow judgment on ourselves. I used to think that was fine- I’d get it all in one big lashing on judgment day but in reality- as soon as we judge others – we are immediately judged. We reap what we sow- and this sin in particular sprouts overnight- like a stubborn weed or one of those weird mushrooms that shows up overnight.

     His Kindness Leads Us To Repentance

      You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.  Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.  So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?  Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

Did you notice what God’s kindness is intended to do? It is to lead us to repentance.  Being a Christian doesn’t make us sinless, in fact, if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. So we who judge the speck in our neighbors eye, need to stop and focus on the log in our own eye.

      Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.  1 Cor 4;5

 Search me, God, and know my heart;  test me and know my anxious thoughts.
 See if there is any offensive way in me,  and lead me in the way everlasting Ps 139:23-24

Psalm 101:5 I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride
Ephesians 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior
Proverbs 25:10 Others may accuse you of gossip, and you will never regain your good reputation
Proverbs 26:20 Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops

OUR JUDGING OTHERS SHOWS US THAT WE NEED TO WORK ON OUR OWN HARD, STUBBORN, CALLOUSED AND UNREPENTANT HEARTS. JUDGING OTHERS STORES UP WRATH AND TERRIBLE PUNISHMENT WITHIN OUR HEART.
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath , when his righteous judgment will be revealed.  God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.

 FOR GOD DOES NOT SHOW FAVORITISM
YOU ARE PRECIOUS TO HIM
(and so is that person you are complaining about) 

Search me, God, and know my heart;  test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me,  and lead me in the way everlasting.

Are people judging you wrongly?   For the Lord your God goes out before you and fights for you. No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,”declares the Lord

He will never leave you Nor forsake you. For God has said " I will not fail you I will never abandon you" heb 13:5 Peace my friends!   

May the Lord’s Peace fill your hearts and minds-

For more encouragement when people speak against you, read the book of Ezra. The Lord told those who were being judged wrongly to Be Strong, God reminded the that He was with them. Surely His love and Mercy endure forever.