A child of God falling back into one sinful habit or other is as a
result of two major things:m Carelessness and Prayerlessness life
. If a child
of God falls back into a particular old sin, it may not be because he
did not experience genuine salvation, it’s may not be because he was not
delivered from that sinful habit at the beginning of his new life, and
not because he falls back automatically as if Christian life is all
about rising and falling into sin and believing God’s mercy to cover our
continuous sins; it is due to carelessness and prayerlessness. Let’s
check them one by one.
1. C A R E L E S S N E S S.
1 Corinthians 10:12 “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" When you are saved by Jesus Christ and become a new person in Him, He
sets you free from sinful habits and makes the grace and strength for
the new life available, but you need to always take heed – that is to be
watchful – so that you don’t fall back into your old sinful habits
after all, because Satan does not sleep nor give up on you, he is
looking every time for every means to make you fall back into his traps.
Carelessness comes into Christian life through different means:
1. Spiritual Recklessness – knowing that something may lead to sin
but you are too confident in yourself that it will not lead you to sin.
Over Confidence; Many Christians, after their
salvation and freedom from Sin and Satan, later fall back over and over
because of overconfidence. Over confidence is when you “think” that you
stand and you cannot fall and so you become too close to source of
temptation, the appearance of sin. When you think you stand, it is good
but you are the one who think so in the first instance, God does not
tell you so; to God, you are still rising and standing but not yet
Don’t over-think of yourself lest you become overconfident.
Thinking that you stand is not a problem but taking heed is the
priority, so we need to take heed than thinking that we have made all
Overconfidence is being confident in your spiritual stand that you
get too close to the appearance, the source or the form of sin and being
confident you will not or never fall. The truth is that anybody can
fall, irrespective of how long or how strong they have been standing; it
is the grace and the strength of God that keeps everyone but the grace
of God does not go beyond the limit ground which God lays for us. When
we go beyond the limit, we become vulnerable to falling into satanic
traps. That is the reason the Lord warns us to abstain from every
appearance of evil (sin). 1 Thessalonians 5:22.
In Christian watchfulness, appearance of sin is a sin itself. Just
like in traffic system, if you don’t use seat belt while driving, you
will be charged. You may not need to say, “But no accident yet.” A
careful Christian does not move close to the appearance or form of sin.
Appearance or form of evil is a situation or thing that may lead to sin.
We all know where came from, the lifestyles we were living before Jesus
saved us, we know our spiritual weaknesses; we all know what can
trigger us into sin or make us vulnerable to sin. There are personal and
general appearances of sin; anything that may lead to sin or that
easily lead us to old habit is appearance of evil, and that is what we
need to stay away from. The scripture says“Form of evil” It may be people,
places, materials, thoughts, talks, etc.
We must stay far away before
they are formed. The form of evil is the forming of sin, the level by
which falling may be unavoidable and irresistible, It’s the shadow of
sin, when you see a shadow you are sure that the object may be
A careless Christian will be overconfident to reach the appearance of
sin, thinking he will not fall, thinking he is too strong and mature to
fall, thinking he is a formidable Christian to sin; thinking it’s only
baby and weak Christians who fall in such situation, thinking he has
gone beyond the level that he will be scared to fall by such temptation,
and not knowing that he is the one who thinks he stands.
A careful and watchful Christian knows what can lead her to sin, and
she will not wait until she sees the sin before she will take heed. In
Christian race, maturity is actually taking heed, knowing when to remain
or run, that is self-control and tenderness. On the other way,
overconfidence is not maturity but satanic deception to confidently seat
on a chair put on a covered pit.
(2) Spiritual Negligence – Not knowing what you ought to know that
may cause you to fall into sin, not careful enough. In legal system, no
excuse for negligence. Ignorance is different from innocence and we
should not see them as the same. Innocence is lack of awareness or lack
of existence of something, but ignorance is lack of knowledge, it is a
failure to know what you ought to know and fail to follow it. In traffic
laws, if you don’t have fire extinguisher in your car, you may be
charged, don’t waste your time by saying, “But I am confident I cannot
have fire accident”. If you drive too close to another vehicle in front
of you and fail to give the regulated space, and you hit the front
vehicle because it stopped suddenly, you may be charged with traffic
offence and responsible for the accident.
You cannot excuse yourself
that the vehicle in front of you stopped suddenly, because if you give
considerable gap, you would not hit the vehicle. Likewise, spiritual
negligence is careless. Many Christians eventually perished at the end,
not because they were not initially saved but because of ignorance,
FRIVOLITY: It’s carelessly or ignorantly getting
involved in things that weaken spiritual strength, and puncture
spiritual life and then make one unable to withstand temptation. This is
a common carelessness Satan uses to bring down many Christians into
their old sinful habits, because such habits do not immediately lead to
sin, they don’t blow or bomb Christian lives at the spot, they only
puncture and it is just a matter of time. If a Christian is watchful of
satanic bombs, since everybody may run away from bomb, but then Satan
can bring in small nails, small arrows that many may seem not harmful
but many are victims.
Such frivolous habits are casual but they cause serious damage and
destruction, they are simple but they sink several strong faith. They
are like inconsistent Bible reading, over-talking, getting involve in
little, little worldly stuffs, watching worldly movies, listening to
worldly music, browsing pornographic sites, checking nude pictures,
using worldly materials like makeup, worldly dress; watching “decent
worldly” TV shows like American Idol, African Idol, Nigerian Idol, dance
competition, reality shows that promote immorality and so on. These
things indirectly drain spiritual strength, hinder free flow of God’s
grace and Spirit, hamper spiritual growth, and eventually make a
Christian spiritually weak and unable to resist temptation.
They are subtle but satanic strategies of destroying Christian faith
and bringing people back into their old sinful habits. Those who involve
in such things often wonder why they always experience up and down,
forward and backward in their Christian lives; it is as a result of
spiritual negligence of frivolity – not knowing what you ought to know,
not taking heed when the Spirit of God quietly cautions you and when the
Word of God quickly corrects you, you ignore Him that such things do
not matter since every Christian is doing it and doing fine. So such
ignorance is inexcusable.
2. P R A Y E R L E S S N E S S
1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” A prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian. A Christian who
ceases in consistent prayer life will cease from growing in the Spirit
and starts to fall into old sinful lifestyle. It is biblically
impossible to sustain a consistent Christian life without a consistent
prayer life, even after many years of Christian life. It is logically,
spiritually and biblically impossible to experience and maintain a
fervent Christian life without a fervent prayer life.
Prayer and Word of God are the only major sources of spiritual
strength and sustenance, and why prayer is very important is that it
takes prayer to understand the Word of God and to apply it
appropriately. It takes prayer to effectively practice the Word of God
and to effectively preach it. Christian life commences with prayer and
continues with prayer. A prayerless Christian will be too weak to resist
temptation of old sinful life and present temptations.
Jesus prayed and
instructed us to pray always in order to keep growing and overcome
temptations. Luke 18:1, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end,
that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Matthew 6:13, “And
lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the
kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”
The question is, “Why many prayerful Christians are also powerless to
resist temptation and prone to fall to old sinful habits? You may also
ask why you are not growing in the spirit or strong in the Lord sine
you have become more prayerful? Many ask why they still fall back to
some sinful habits even though they are more prayerful. The answer to
such questions is in James 4:3, “You ask and do not receive, because you
ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” Asking amiss!
Praying a wrong prayer is worse than not praying at all, because it
gives false confidence. One can pray ceaselessly and still remain
spiritually powerless, because it’s not the action of prayer that
matters but it’s active prayer that matters.
Praying amiss or praying wrongly is misplacing priorities or order of
precedence in prayer. When we are praying but fail to follow the order
of precedence or we misplace priorities of prayer, it means we are
praying amiss. A Christian can be praying day and night, praying and
fasting and yet always fall back into sin; because he fails to pray it
right. In the Bible, Jesus Christ gave us prototype, example of general
order of prayer; it is called Our Lord’s Prayer. This prayer lays
priorities and precedence of prayer orderly. Matthew 6:8, “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows
the things you have need of before you ask Him.
- Praise and Worship – A right prayer begins with praising God that answers prayers.
- Preparation for the Kingdom of God and doing the will of God. In this manner,
therefore, pray:Our Father in heaven.Hallowed be Your name
- Your kingdom come.
- Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
- Give us this day our daily bread.
- And forgive us our debts,
- As we forgive our debtors.
- And do not lead us into temptation.
- But deliver us from the evil one.
- For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen
The precedence of a right prayer is praying on one’s spiritual life as
the first request – praying for God’s searching and sanctification,
praying for God’s grace to overcome temptation and sinful habits,
praying for the strength of Holy Spirit to resist Satan, to be watchful
and do the will of God on earth.
After you have been saved and come into the kingdom of God, your
prayer must center on God’s grace and strength to remain in the kingdom
of God and to do God’s will every day.
Your first prayer points and
priority should center on your spiritual life – praying for God’s
cleansing, to continuously sanctify you, strengthens you and sustain
you. Christians who put their physical, financial or material needs
first before their spiritual lives in their prayers suffer spiritual
setbacks and become too weak to resist sinful habits. If you are
determined to be prayerful, then you need to be watchful on your
spiritual life in prayer with how and what you pray about. 1 Peter 4:7,
“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful
in your prayers.”
Many Christians pray, many churches organize different prayer
meetings and prayer programs, but they pray amiss because their
priorities and focus are not on God’s kingdom and living in holiness and
righteousness to please God. They center their priorities and prayer
points on physical needs, miracles, deliverance and financial
prosperity and breakthrough. Such Christians will easily fall back to
old sinful habits and persistent temptations because their spiritual
lives are not their priorities in their prayers.
To be powerful in the Lord, you must put your spiritual life first in
your prayer points; the kingdom of God and His righteousness in your
life when you pray every day. Your prayer points order shows your
priorities of life, a carnal minded Christians seek first daily bread
and butter before focusing on God’s grace and strength to please Him. We
must pray for our daily breads, but as you can see in Our Lord’s
Prayer, we must first pray on God’s kingdom in our lives and our lives
in God’s kingdom, we must pray on doing the will of God. God knows all
our needs even before we ask them, but we must persistently ask for
God’s grace to have it.
For us to stay strong in the new life in Jesus Christ, to go forward
in Christ and never again go backward, we must be watchful and
prayerful; we must not be careless and prayerless. Satan does not give
up on us, no matter how far we have gone, he is looking for means to
come to destroy and steal by all means at every time. So the Master
instructs us, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The
spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41.
There is no maturity or relenting of watchfulness and prayer until we
get to where there is nothing that causes offence and where prayer is
no needed, that is heaven. After you stand, take heed – watch and pray –
lest you fall. Don’t compare your Christian life with those who are
seating or lying on the ground, because he who lies on the ground needs
not to take heed of falling. Others may do it but you must not, you must
not – because you must not fall, backward, never and forward, ever.
have laid our hands on the plows and no turning back, never in Jesus
name. We have known the truth, we have come to the truth and we must
stay in the truth to the end. 2 Peter 3:17, 18 “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you
also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of
the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.