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Looking Back to Better Times by Ivan Foster

Decline may set in among God’s people. Evidences of decline: 1. loss of a sense of the Lord’s presence — we can go through life and not notice that the Lord’s presence is not with us — we can still have our religious activities, we are still in the company of God’s people, we are not in open backsliding, but nevertheless the gap has developed between us and the Lord; 2. hardening of our conscience — we become less sensitive, we become more tolerant of sin, we do not tremble when conscience speaks as we once did; 3. we become less energetic for God — we have energy for other things, though. Causes of decline: 1. private devotions in our life decline; 2. a yielding to secret sin will cause a spiritual decline; 3. a preoccupation for the things of the world.