"The backslider in heart..." (v14) The heart is so important - it has to be guarded.
ii) How does the process continue?
Heart is seat of affections where Christ is worshipped. Process starts when heart is not guarded, a rival comes on the scene - person, pleasure, pursuit - affections are shared, then gets stronger, and heart is divided, and the Christian just "goes through the motions."
iii) How does the process culminate?
No longer reads his Bible at home or prays. Drops off from services with no valid reason. Cuts back on tithe. Weakness over the years,then it comes out in the open. Doesn't happen overnight.
2. THE EGOTISM OF THE BACKSLIDER
"...filled with his own ways:..." (v14)
i) Ways of Selfishness God and His Work no longer comes first.
ii) Ways of Unfaithfulness Like an unfaithful partner in a marriage-spiritual adultery
iii) Ways of Unhealthiness A healing needs to take place for backsliding-the heart is in a sick state.
3. THE EXPERIENCE OF THE BACKSLIDER
i) Experience Of Emptiness
Thought he would have pleasure, but it is only empty. None but Christ can satisfy.(see Jer 2:13)
ii) Experience of Bitterness
The backslider learns from experience. Think of Elimelech, the prodigal son, and even the writer here, Solomon. (see 1 Kings 11: 1,2,4)
It can happen to any one of us. If it is - flee back to Christ for forgiveness-He is waiting now.