We often start off on fire for God. Our lights are ablaze and our lamps are burning brightly. We’re excited about the things of God. We desire His word more than entertainment. Prayer and fellowship isn’t seen as a chore or an obligation but rather something to look forward to. We’re hungry, thirsty, and desperate to see His will unfold. We long for more and more intimacy. Our hunger for righteousness begins to outweigh our desire for sin. We’re on fire and it’s easily detected by the people who we encounter because fire consumes and lights up whatever it comes in contact with. Whether it was through the comfort or conviction of the holy spirit in us,the people we were around were effected by our fire.
But life goes on and without us even realizing it, we begin to allow things to slowly douse our fire. We slowly but surely allow things like sin, un-biblical thinking, and disobedience to gradually draw us away from the One who set ablaze in the first place. There’s a transition from on fire to luke-warm that takes place. We no longer seek out the “wood” found in His prescience to keep the fireplace in our hearts going. We stop praying like we use to. We stop studying His word like we once did. We begin to find a false sense of peace & security in other things that eventually will prove to be un-reliable. We start letting culture become our bible. We allow the tongue that we once delighted to use as a tool to spread the gospel and share the truth, to now be used to participate in petty, fruitless, useless, statuses and debates online. We allow our faith and our flame to dwindle and we start to treat the things of God as common. Boredom has now stood in the place of our zeal and divided loyalty has replaced what was once a wholehearted devotion.
And none of us are ABOVE letting our spiritual lives get to this place..
Here are just a few avenues that can lead us there.
- OFFENSE and UNFORGIVENESS
We were hurt by another Christian. Rather than dealing with the offense in humility, we rather just separate ourselves from “the church” all together. We often fail to realize that Christ can’t be dislocated and that you cannot have His head without His body. We need Jesus and we NEED other believers. God has put in place a body of believers, a family of God, meant to build up and edify one another. If you are saved, you are apart of the body and therefore NEED other body parts to walk this walk….
If we’re not careful, we can allow bitterness to take root in our heart because we refuse to forgive or even deal with conflict with another believer the BIBLICAL WAY which is by approaching them privately first. We think we can separate our love for God and our attitude towards our brothers and sisters in Christ, failing to remember that WE are not an ONLY child. God has specifically commanded us to forgive one another and anything short of that is disobedience. Forgive as you’ve been forgiven.
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.“. – Colossians 3:13
2. Unrepentant Sin
God tells us to go right. We go left. Sin is deceitful and often we allow it to deceive us into thinking that it’s temporary pleasure is better than God’s eternal satisfaction. The thing about sin is, the more and more you dwell in it, the less and less you see it for what it is. A destructive cancer that brings about spiritual death. (Romans 6:23) Our hearts become hardened towards Him and our reverence begins to dwindle. We begin to minimize His words to just philosophical suggestions as opposed to commands from a Holy God in heaven. Keep your fire ablaze by being obedient.
3. Dumb Distractions
I remember being a kid hearing my mom cook all the time. I would be hungry, waiting for the food to be ready. I would want to have a snack because the food was taking too long, but she would always tell me not to. She knew that nibbling on a snack would make me lose my appetite for the main meal that she had been preparing.
When we begin to nibble on the things of this world, we begin to lose our appetite for God. We lose our hunger for His prescience because we’ve already fed ourselves with words that came from the worlds kitchen. We lose our thirst for prayer because all week we’ve drank from the well of distraction. When we’re already full, whether it be from healthy food or junk food, we’re no longer looking for something to eat. Oftentimes, we’re so full off of everything but God that by the time we’re done, we don’t really have an appetite for spiritual things. Cut off every distraction keeping you from eating at His table.
These are just a few things that many of us struggle with and can be the culprit behind doused fires. If we are saved, God has given us His holy spirit meant to lead us, guide and teach us. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are now able to have this close relationship with God. Throughout scripture, God makes it clear that as His children we are to have wholehearted devotion and loyalty to Him and Him alone. In the book of revelations, Jesus condemns luke-warmness; being neither hot or cold but sort of in the middle. He makes it clear that we cannot serve two masters. My prayer is that God would re-ignite our fire for Him. That we would start with prayer and His word and that we would protect the light that He has given us to shine so brightly for His glory.