June 14, 2014.
Sometimes when I have some free time and I am not around people who encourage me to do work for the Lord, I get into slumps in my spiritual walk. This often happens after big event or upon a big change in life, such as moving to a different place or not being at the student center. Today I want to discuss three things that I hope will help me and anyone else who finds theirselves in this slump. These are not the only things that will help, but I think they are a good start.
1. Read the word.
Want to increase your faith? Why not do it the way the bible suggests to do it?
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
I’m not sure we give the word of God enough credit today. I was listening to a sermon in Nicaragua by our preacher and he was telling a story about a time where he was having a weekly bible study with an atheist. The person who went with him asked “well, what are you going to talk about?” and he just said “We’re going to read the bible.” “But he’s an atheist…” “Well, we’re just going to read the bible.” So, week after week he would sit down with the man and read through Matthew. At first the man just asked questions like “How do I know that really happened?” David, our preacher, would reply “Just keep reading.” Eventually he got to the point where he was asking questions like “Where in the bible does it say that?” He would go on to become a faithful Christian, from simply reading. The word of God is powerful and living. Sometimes we need to get out of the way.
I truly believe that this will work for us too. When I am low in my faith, if I can convince myself to keep reading and studying, it will help me in the long run. Just keep reading.
2. Fight temptation with all you have.
I often find that the reason I get into these slumps is because I am not resisting temptation. I will “try” to resist, but give in regardless. Afterwards, guilt comes and all seems hopeless, driving me deeper into the slump. This is a vicious cycle. If we are going to get out of our rut, we are going to have to put our all into fighting temptation. Half trying will often not cut it. We do have a biblical promise about this:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
James doesn’t say “Try hard and he might flee.” He says “Resist the devil, and he will flee.” I think we need to put more faith in this promise. Often times, however, we don’t truly resist and then wonder why he didn’t flee. This seems to be the case for me at least. Sin is fun, and the devil knows it. He plays on our desires and entices us to fall into his trap. But we must keep getting up and pressing on, resisting at every point. Remember that we have God on our side.
“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
(1 Corinthians 10:12-13)
3. Seek help.
“My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
I don’t know how many times that makes it for my blog to say something about the community of believers. We are here for one another, to bear one another’s burdens. When we get into spiritual slumps, one of the best ways is to seek help, first and foremost from God, but then from our fellow Christians. We need accountability. We need encouragement. We need camaraderie.
Don’t be shy. We are all struggling in some way. Just because it looks like the rest of us have it together, trust me, we don’t. One of the best tools our Lord has given us to resist the wiles of the devil is our fellow man. Two is better than one. We can do this, we really can. The victory has already been won. It is our job to endure, and help others along the way.
I hope these three points help you. I am going to try my best to apply them to my life to bring my spiritual walk back up to where it needs to be. Read, Resist and Recruit. That’s a good way of remembering it. I hope all goes well in your spiritual journey.
Suggested Daily Reading: Romans 10, I Corinthians 10, James 4-5.
Grace and peace.