Have you ever known somebody who for years lived for The Lord and then came to a point of no longer following God? I have seen it countless times. How did he or she get to that point or what happened to bring about such a drastic change?
But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: (Psalm 81:11-12)
From this passage, it can be seen that what takes place when this occurs is that a person comes to a point in his life that he no longer hears The Lord with the intent of listening. He reads the scriptures and attends preaching services, but he is not hearing with the intent of listening for the Lord’s voice or calling. A battle begins to take place in their heart and mind. Thoughts or imaginations of their heart begin to change the desires of the heart. After some time, the believer, who at one time panted after God as a deer pants after the water brook, now no longer rests content in The Lord. As the passages states, the Lord eventually lets them go to run after the twisted imaginations of their heart.
Such a sad state that can only be overcome by repentance, which will be essential for them to return. Since they have ceased listening to The Lord, they more than likely will only repent after The Lord brings some type of chastening and even at that point they can still resist.
If this is you, pray while you still can and ask The Lord to keep you from wandering any farther away from him. If this describes somebody you know, pray for them daily that God would have liberty in working on their heart and that God would grant them repentance.
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (2 Timothy 2:25)