Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me

Causes Of Heart Wanderings

Wanderings from God often begin by looking on forbidden objects.

The eye is allowed to rest too long upon an object of temptation.

Through the eye the thoughts take hold upon the object. This kindles exaggerated and unlawful desires. This undermines the will, and the outcome is sin in greater or less degree.

Such was the case of Eve, who stood looking on the forbidden fruit.

This was the case of David, who was gazing from the top of the palace.

This is the art that Satan tried on Jesus, when he spread before His mental vision all the kingdoms of the earth and all their glory in one dazzling panorama of world-wide sovereignty and splendor.

But Jesus instantly turned His mental eye from the beautiful vision and fixed it on His coming cross. This is the best cure for all fascinating and tempting visions -- to get in the mind the precious blood of Jesus.

The sight of Christ crucified is the panacea for unholy mental pictures.

~G. D. Watson~

Another cause of the loss of grace is looking at our difficulties. 

It is to be expected that life is full of difficulties, and living in a fallen world implies this. 

There are difficulties in the spiritual life in the way of seeking pardon or holiness-difficulties in growth in grace-difficulties that spring from our own minds or from heredity, our social surroundings, our temporal affairs, our temperament or our poor and false teaching difficulties innumerable, that spring like weeds in every field of life; and to get the eye on these difficulties will weaken faith, sap perseverance, distract the mind, cloud the vision and draw the soul from God. 

The divine life is pre-eminently the way and life of faith. 

When Peter looked at the waves of the sea, his mind lost the bright conception of the omnipotence of Jesus, and so he began to sink. 

When Abraham looked at the difficulties of how he was going to retain his beautiful wife in the presence of the greedy heathen king, he did not know how to manage it; and so he was induced to tell a falsehood, just because the difficulties of the situation, for the time being, shut out the omnipotent care of God.

Our heavenly Father permits His children to be hemmed in many times by the network of difficulties, and the Devil uses such circumstances to plead the necessity of committing sin in order to get through. 

The very things that God permits as a test of our faith, the Devil uses as an argument for some disobedience.

~G. D. Watson~

Another cause of backsliding is self-confidence, or leaning on native or acquired strength.

The soul which has been highly favored of God, or is possessed with strong natural traits, will instinctively lean upon itself, until it has been thoroughly mortified. 

This was the case with Peter, who was so confident of the inherent magnanimity of his character that he vowed, though all the others should forsake Christ, he would never forsake Him. 

Young converts in their first love make extravagant assurances of heroism; and oftentimes, in the first glow of the sanctified state, the human mind will fancy itself quite strong.

It takes many a lesson to burn into us the reality of our utter nothingness.

Self-confidence has so many forms to it. Like the atmosphere, it adapts itself to all zones and seasons of human life.

Christians often unconsciously confide in their experience, instead of leaning only on the Holy Spirit, who makes the experience. 

The Lord warned the Jews that when they should enter the land of Canaan, and should eat and become full, that they were to beware, lest thou forget the Lord."

A full stomach has a poor memory; it waxes fat and kicks.

This teaches us that even in the Canaan life we are not to depend upon our experience. If we do, we shall lose it.

Soul whiteness is like a snowflake -- if you lean on it, it dissolves. 

Because we have been endowed with grace, or strength, or wisdom, or some success, it is no guarantee that these endowments will continue unless we depend alone on the source from which they flow.

~G. D. Watson~ 

Another cause of backsliding is presumption---the taking it for granted that the soul stands so well with God that He will make great allowance for it, and that the guardian angel will take extra trouble to extricate the disobedient heart.

Satan tells you that you are the Lord's pet; that He thinks more of you than He does of most of His children; that He will make excuses for you that He does not make for others.

This was the temptation that came to Solomon. He had been assured of his high standing with God, and of his unparalleled wisdom and knowledge; and Satan played his tune of temptation on the strings of presumption, until the wisest of men mourned in the dust and cried, "vanity of vanities!" 

This was the temptation which the Devil presented to Jesus, when he urged Him to cast Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple---that He was so highly favored of God that the angels would catch Him ere He struck the pavement.

This principle can have innumerable applications. 

God is as impartial in His chastisements as in His love. If He will show His love to the vilest wretch on earth who repents, so He will chastise the highest saint on earth---even a Moses, who talks face to face with Him.

Presumption is the sin that made the Devil, and one that Satan presents in a thousand varied forms to decoy the child of God.

~G. D. Watson~ 

Another cause of heart wanderings is self-management and attempting to take our affairs in our own hands---trying to help the Lord in His providences of our case in times of trouble and distress.

We must be led through many a soul crisis. These crises will come to us in social life, in business, in church relations, in health, in lines of duty. 

Many of them cannot be avoided. They are in the very nature of things in this world, and when they come, our human spirits are so eager for the speedy and premature result that they accept of an unlawful deliverance.

And we are so tempted to think that God had forgotten us, or that He is too slow, that we take affairs into our own hands.

This was the case of Rebekah and Jacob, who thought that they surely must manufacture a lie and deceive Isaac with the goatskin, in order to secure the fulfillment of an infallible promise from God; but their self-management brought sad separation and years of sorrow.

This was the case with King Saul, who thought that Samuel was so long reaching his appointment that he must play the part of the priest and offer sacrifice; and from that hour he began wandering from God.

This was the case with Uzza, who thought, when the oxen stumbled, he must surely put forth his hand and assist the Lord in caring for the ark.

Officiousness has led many a soul into spiritual bondage. It is so easy even for spiritual men to get the impression that they must manage the work of God; that they are responsible in great revivals for keeping their little fingers on the safety-valves, and curbing divine fire within the limit of their prudence.

Spiritual power is lost in the attempt to manage the kingdom. 

Self-management, in some form or other, is the starting point of many a decline in grace.

~G. D. Watson~                      

Heart wanderings from God are almost imperceptible at first. 

There are slow degrees of the leakage of grace, almost imperceptible inroads of temptation.

The Devil insinuates himself in soft, silent ways and through unguarded avenues, and in such an assumed celestial raiment, that before the soul is aware, he has well-nigh captured the magazines of the heart.

A little spiritual laziness and little tonings down of self-sacrifice are like the coming of gray hairs.

The Bible speaks of a certain one who had "gray hairs... here and there upon him, yet he knoweth [it] not."

The loss of property and of health have the same imperceptible beginning as backsliding from God.

~G. D. Watson~






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