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Have you ever felt that you weren’t as close to God as you used to be? There are certain warning signs in our spiritual life that indicate we are slowly drifting away from God. When we are aware of the warning signs, we are able to remedy the unhealthy attitudes and behaviors that lead us away from the Lord. Here are seven:

#1 A Decrease in Your Quiet Time

Any healthy relationship requires quality time to thrive. Our relationship with God is no different. Spending time with the God by reading his word and praying is a great privilege and tool to strengthen our faith and keep our hearts focused. If you notice the following, beware:

  • You don’t have quiet time with God.
  • You don’t want to have quiet time with God.
  • You don’t see the value of having quiet time with God.

Losing a desire to spend time with God is the first telltale sign that something is not right spiritually.

[Related: When God Doesn’t Feel Close Any More]

#2 A Loss of Conviction

Our conscience is one of the main channels through which God gets our attention. We must not succumb to attitudes that eventually harden our hearts. Some common, unhealthy excuses for our hardness of heart may include:

  • “I deserve this.”
  • “I’m not as bad as others.”
  • “Everyone struggles.”
  • “I’m not as bad as I used to be.”
  • “I’ll ask for forgiveness tomorrow.”

A hardness of heart, or seared conscience, is a natural condition for human beings to fall into (1 Timothy 4:1-2). It can often be a direct result of a lack of repentance. As pursuers of God, we ought to be sensitive to our conscience and sincere about correcting bad patterns of thought so as to honor God (Matthew 12:34b).

[Related: Playing Games with Your Sin]

If we spend more time devising excuses than repenting for sinful thoughts and actions, we are saying God’s standards don’t convict us and that his opinion doesn’t matter.

#3 When You Lose Confidence in Prayer

When you doubt that God is interested in answering your prayers, you may begin to doubt that he is interested in you at all. But he is interested in you (James 1:5-7). The question is: are you interested in hearing what he has to say?

[Related: Why We Pray]

Praying for others is also a vital habit of the Christian. Do you often fail to pray for people when you promise to pray for them, or do you typically follow through?

If you find that prayer matters less and less to you, it’s time to start taking counteractive steps to fix this issue.

#4 A Loss of Compassion for Those in Pain

God may bring people into our lives who are suffering or going through hardships that we might serve them. When we refuse to sympathize with those in need, we miss opportunities to extend God’s grace.

[Related Tag: Poverty]

Not only are we missing important opportunities to serve, we are missing opportunities to demonstrate our faith practically. And if we are not willing to demonstrate our faith practically, we are saying our faith is not important to us (Matthew 25:34-40).

#5 An Indifference to Evangelism and Salvation

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to share the good news that God has rescued us from our sins and brought us into his kingdom by his grace. We shouldn’t think that God has completed his mission of saving sinners. He wills that that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9). If we are indifferent to this deep desire of God, it’s time for a heart checkup.

#6 A Decrease in Your Giving

Giving a portion of your income to the church and various ministries enables the body of Christ to accomplish God’s purposes on earth. The Bible tells us to be cheerful givers and to not give simply out of obligation (2 Corinthians 9:7). When giving financially to the church becomes less important to us, our hearts are likely not aligned with God’s purposes.

[Related: God’s Generosity to You]

#7 A Decrease in Church Attendance

Local churches are followers of Jesus Christ who regularly meet to worship God together, serve together, pray together, and learn how to better honor God with our lives (Hebrews 10:25). When we believe we can do the Christian life alone – that we already know enough, have done enough, and won’t get anything out of church – we miss opportunities to mature in our faith and to help others to grow spiritually.

[Related: Private Faith vs Church]

While we all struggle in our faithfulness to God during different seasons of life, we must be wary of these seven signs, especially if we are experiencing several of them at once. Start by acknowledging that something isn’t right. Confess it to God, commit to repenting, and confide in a trusted Christian friend, mentor, or pastor who will hold you accountable (James 5:16). You must take every necessary step to rekindle your relationship with God or risk backsliding into the old patterns and habits God saved you from long ago.

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. How would you rate your closeness to God right now? Why do you rate yourself this way?
  3. What’s a time when you felt more connected to God than you have at other times? What was different during that time?
  4. How have you made quiet time with God a part of your life? What’s been helpful or unhelpful? What have been some challenges?
  5. How can our lack of conviction for sin be a “slippery slope?” Explain.
  6. What is true repentance? What does it look like in someone’s life?
  7. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. How do these verses highlight the importance of having a consistent, God-focused thought life? How should it look in our lives?
  8. Read Matthew 28:18-20. What should you play in fulfilling Jesus’s “Great Commission?” What can you change about the way you share your faith that may improve your effectiveness in making disciples?
  9. How does an increase in giving (financial and serving!) relate to the health of your spiritual walk? Explain.
  10. How is worshipping God with other believers different from worshipping him privately? What are some benefits and drawbacks of each?
  11. Which of these seven warnings signs do or have applied to you? What steps should you take to avoid these spiritual pitfalls?
  12. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.
Written content for this topic by Anthony Bond.