Here is a simple but profound example of how to protect ourselves from “backsliding” in the life of Billy Sunday:
When Billy Sunday was converted and joined the church, a Christian man put his arm on the young man’s shoulder and said, “William, there are three simple rules I can give to you, and if you will hold to them you will never write ‘backslider’ after your name.”
“Take 15 minutes each day to listen to God talking to you; take 15 minutes each day to talk to God; take 15 minutes each day to talk to others about God.”
Billy Sunday was deeply impressed and determined to make these the rules of his life. From that day on throughout his life he made it a rule to spend the first moments of his day alone with God and His Word. Before he read a letter, looked at a paper or even read a telegram, he went first to the Bible so that the first impression of the day might be what he got directly from God.
1. Bible Study-Listen to God talk to you.
2. Prayer-Talk to God.
3. Witnessing-Talk to others about God.
Now be honest. Prior to reading that advice, would you have listed those three simple “talks” as the top three keys to hindering spiritual digression? If you are like me, you tend to make it much more complicated.
I could add more, but I think it is often our complexity and ambiguity that eliminates personal responsibility. As Dr. John Goetsch said recently, “If we would spend our time doing what we should, there would be no time to do what we shouldn’t.” Get back to the basics. Period. In our information age where we are inundated with talking heads, become a sanctified and simple “conversationalist.” Now if you will excuse me from this blog post, I am going to practice what I just preached and resume with the other communication lines on hold right now.
What would you add that protects you from slipping spiritually?