March 24, 2021 Open Heaven Devotional : Topic – Signs Of Backsliding III
TOPIC: Signs Of Backsliding III
MEMORISE: And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good. – 1 Samuel 3:18
READ: 1 Samuel 3:10-18 (KJV)
10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.
12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.
13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.
15 And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.
16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I.
17 And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee.
18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Romans 14-16
When you discover that it is difficult for you to pray, you are already backsliding. One of the most distressing passages I have ever read in the Bible is 1 Samuel 3:10-18. God wanted to wipe out the house of Eli; He bypassed Eli to tell Samuel. That is one sign that Eli was hardly praying anymore, because if he were, God would have told him instead. When someone who used to hear from God no longer hears from Him, that may be a sign that he has started backsliding. Samuel told Eli what God said and Eli replied, “He is the Lord; let Him do as He pleases”. That statement is distressing because I would have expected Eli to go on his knees and cry to God for mercy. According to the elders, it is a goat that would hear about the day of his death and keep on eating. Eli heard that God was going to cut off his lineage and all he had to say was “He is God, let Him do whatever He pleases”. That’s similar to the goat’s attitude described above. Jesus Christ is the Great Shepherd of sheep and not goats. Any sheep that begins to behave like a goat has left the flock of Christ.
When a Christian gets bored after praying for five minutes, there is definitely something wrong. You will always enjoy spending time alone with someone you love. If you still love Jesus, one hour to fellowship with Him will not seem like punishment. How is it that prayer has now become a burden?
There was a period in my life where I had drawn far from God without noticing it. One day, God asked “Do you remember when you would be driving and praising Me? Then My Spirit would fill your car so strongly that tears would begin to run down your face, and you would have to park the car for a while before continuing on your journey?” I said ”Yes Lord, I remember but You know it is difficult now. I have a driver now and if he sees tears dropping from my eyes, he would think there is something wrong with me”. God replied “Oh, so I made a mistake by giving you a driver, right?” I quickly apologized and promised to resume fellowship with Him. I waited until it was midnight when everyone, including my wife, was asleep, then snuck out of the house to fellowship alone with God. Just as I started singing, tears fell from my eyes. I did not realize how much I had missed God. I did not realize how far I had drifted away from Him.
How fervent is your prayer life? Your response would tell if you have started drifting away from God.
Do you still enjoy spending time alone with God?
HYMN 24: Take My Life, And Let It Be.
1. Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.
2. Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
3. Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
4. Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
5. Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
6. Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Open Heavens 2021 Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries. The Open Heavens devotional application is available across all mobile platforms and operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and PC.