Step 1: Neglecting time with God One of the first steps in the downward spiral from serving God to serving self is neglecting time with God. Scripture encourages believers to spend time with God, pray, and meditate on His Word. However, when we fail our time with God, we prioritize other things in our lives, which can lead to a slippery slope away from God.
* Psalm 1:1-3 says, "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers."
Step 2: Pursuing worldly desires The next step in the downward spiral is pursuing worldly desires instead of seeking God's will. When we focus on our wants and pleasure, we can quickly be drawn away from serving God and serving others.
* 1 John 2:15-17 warns, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."
Step 3: Engaging in sinful behavior. If we continue down this path of pursuing worldly desires, it can lead us to engage in immoral behavior. When we give in to sin, we distance ourselves from God and begin serving our selfish desires.
* James 1:14-15 says, "But each person is tempted when lured and enticed by his desire. So then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when fully grown, brings forth death."
Step 4: Becoming enslaved to sin As we continue to engage in sinful behavior, we can become enslaved to sin. We may feel powerless to break free from the sin that has taken hold of our lives.
* John 8:34 says, "Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin."
Step 5: Putting self above God The final step in the downward spiral is putting the self above God. When enslaved to sin, we become consumed with serving ourselves and our desires instead of God and others.
* Philippians 2:3-4 encourages us to "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his interests but also to the interests of others."
In summary, neglecting time with God, pursuing worldly desires, engaging in sinful behavior, becoming enslaved to sin, and putting self above God are all steps in the downward spiral from serving God to serving self. However, it is never too late to return to God and ask for His forgiveness and guidance.