06 Sep Reviving The Inert Spirit
Hi brothers and sisters, a good day to all of you. Today, we are on the topic of Stagnancy. When we are doing something for long, we tend to get complacent and feel numb or stagnant over time. This can be happening in our spiritual living or our worldly living. In the process, it may result in a few things such as us taking things for granted, not willing to come out of our comfort zone or constantly feeling uninspired and bored. There was a period of time as I was serving in the Children’s Ministry that I was feeling “stuck” and tired with lesson planning. I was able to type out the Sunday school lessons, and think of activities but it got to a point that I was just finishing up a task that comes to me weekly and hand it up before the weekends hit. I get the work done, but my heart is feeling the uneasiness of stagnancy and the tendency to lament follows after. It is like the process of just “getting by” with your daily living, nothing too exciting to look forward to and feeling bored from time to time, but you are also not actively seeking any form of change. Brothers and sisters, have you ever been in this phase or is in the midst of it? Now, if we are, God wants us to know that this is not what the gospel intends to give us. To lose joy, hope and conviction in our ordinary living, is definitely not God’s plan for His children. God’s plan is for us to manage our lives with the correct values and motivations, according to His guidance. So the question we can ask ourselves today is: What is driving us? Or if we are feeling stagnant, what are we not driven by? What have we lost along the way of our faith journey?
It is important to note that God is not asking us to seek improvements or break out of our stagnancy so that we can churn out some results to present to Him how good or capable we are. Because if that is our goal, we will never be able to persistently improve ourselves, as we will fail at times, become weak at times, and if we were to be result-driven, disappointment and the feeling of lack will keep crippling us.
Therefore, what should be our motivation to walk out of our stagnant spirit and living? It should be to see that God’s will for His children is for us to make every effort to improve ourselves. We all have our God-given potential to use our gifts to glorify God in our fields and roles, but we cannot discover and use it to the fullest if we remain in a numb or careless living. We must meet God’s heart and see that only through God, can we have the ability to improve ourselves and receive break throughs in our spirit. In the process, God will surely grow in us a heart of patience, wisdom, humility and strengthened faith.
But how then can we break out of an inert spiritual living now, to a revived and vibrant one? Now our heart may be willing, but the truth is, our flesh is weak. However, with the grace of God, we will have the spiritual fuel in us to do so. As it is said in 1 Corinthians 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”
Restore the right heart
So the first thing we have to do is to restore the right heart. Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” We need to restore the heart that acknowledges we cannot do anything apart from God and His grace on us. It is always easy for us to snap back to our old ways, use our own methods to deal with things or get comfortable with where we are at. Therefore, we must restore a heart that always think of glorifying and pleasing the Lord in all we do. This will give us the strength and vision to move forward and challenge ourselves, instead of just “getting by” day to day.
Value the “ordinary”
Next, we need to value the ordinary things in our lives. Even the normal things that we do daily, we must see the dignified meaning God has placed within them. Only when we see the value will have the heart to seek breakthroughs in those areas. Whether it is our studies, work, household chores, interpersonal relationships, servings or more, if we just think those are very ordinary and trivial things, we will not think of how to manage them better. Like, when I do house work last time, I used to dread it and see it as a chore to hurry and finish off. But once I start seeing the value of managing the tidiness of our home, and how it is my way of serving my husband and kids, giving them a blessed environment and clean space to be in, I do my house chores with more conviction and willingness. You see, even if it is the ordinary, daily things, all these are meant for us to rely more on God, refine ourselves more and accumulate more testimonies to edify others.
Celebrate even the smallest of break throughs
Next, let us also not belittle the small break throughs that we make in the process. Like restoring Daily Devotion more frequently, able to share some prayer topics with your brethren, more restrain from using phone in the morning and at bedtime. Even if it is a small breakthrough, if it is achieved by relying on God, He can use it greatly. If we rely on God to consider how to have breakthroughs and do better in the fine details of the daily things we do, God can accumulate those little breakthroughs into a great blessing.
Discover areas of stagnancy and require some break throughs
Finally, we need to continue examining ourselves to discover any other areas of our lives that are stagnant and require some breakthroughs. You see, Satan never takes a break when it comes to tempting and destructing our faith. He can come in all ways, all angles and any time. So our best counter attack to that is to be on guard, being aware of our spiritual state, our inclinations and attitudes in all our fields. Be it as a worker, student, colleague, brethren, parent, child or spouse, we need to be one-hearted with God. If we are very faithful in church but lamenting in our work, it diminishes the strength of our hearts because we know we are not entirely reconciled with God. Therefore, let us be on our spiritual toes and sift out the areas that are stealing us from our joy and hope as a child of God and pray over it, seeking wisdom to manage them with God’s truth.
Brothers and sisters, a stagnant spirit is prevalent among believers, especially when life around us is moving so fast, our roles require us to be of certain standards with expectations from all corners. It seems like we almost have no time to quiet ourselves down, to restore our communication channel with God. But God is also our only life line to battle and deal with these stagnancy and numbness that is weighing us down. Therefore, may we realise our current spiritual states and actively seek breakthroughs with the help of God’s grace and guidance. Take care and God bless you.