There have been many times in my life when my joy and desire for Jesus just passes to the wayside. For me, the sad point is that I often know that this is coming, yet I don’t really do anything to fix it.
Apathy in the lives of followers of Jesus is a real issue that all of us will have to deal with from time to time. For some believers, a season of apathy can come around more than they would have ever imagined when they first started following Jesus.
I want to share a few pointers today that have helped me in these seasons of dry and lazy spiritual bones.
- Admit to God where your heart is. This is huge, even while we know and He already knows. There is power in getting the issue out in the open. Say to Him, “My spiritual life is dry, like really dry, like the Sahara Desert.” Admit that while you know this is the case, you don’t have much desire to do anything about it. Just so you know, this won’t surprise Him. It won’t offend Him. He knows all the corners and crevices of your heart and He still loves you. Consider that!
- Spend five minutes in the Bible. Don’t commit to a yearlong Bible reading plan; don’t sit down and read a whole book. Five minutes and then spend some time thinking, pondering, meditating (if that’s not too eastern for you) on what you have read. Then pray that the Spirit of God will help you and give you a smidge of a desire to do it again tomorrow. Then do the same thing.
- Tell a friend who loves Jesus and loves you. Don’t skip this point–we live our lives in far too much isolation and with far too many secrets. Tell a friend and ask him or her for help.
- Apathy is a heart issue. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Where we have gone wrong isn’t as clear as what the source of the problem is. So, begin dealing slowly and firmly with your heart. Don’t beat yourself up, but don’t give yourself a pass. Our salvation is free but our maturation requires work! So, work at this, because it matters! Because the joy and freedom that is found in a heart that is given to Jesus and committed to Jesus is worth it. It’s worth it for you and it’s worth it for those around you.
It’s my prayer that we would move out of this season of apathy not because some preacher preached an amazing message, or a song moved us emotionally. But instead because we identify we have a problem and we are mature enough in our following of Jesus to begin to take some action steps to correct it.
His Spirit will be with us every step of the way, like He always has. When we lack desire, get some from Him. When we lack motivation, get some of His. When we can’t take another step, He will carry us until we are strong enough to walk again.
God will grow His church far more in the valley then He ever will on the mountain.