What Drains Your Energies?
- Thursday, January 31, 2008
Matthew 4:4 comes to mind. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." And Psalm 34:8 "O taste and see that the Lord is good." You need to feed your soul if you expect to have any energy for God.
You're doing good work; you're just doing so much of it that you're exhausted. When tired, you get irritable and are no fun to be around. You end up having to force yourself to do your spiritual activities. It's not an admission of weakness to confess you have physical limitations, that you need 8 hours of sleep at night and maybe a little rest in the daytime and a vacation once in a while.
You are a Christian, one who believes your Bible and has the Holy Spirit, so how could you be depressed? Ever say that to yourself? The roots of depression (mental, emotional, whatever) are many and complex. You might need to remind yourself that some of the finest Christians ever to walk the planet have battled depression. You have good company. Those believers made the same discovery you have made, that sometimes you just have to get up and go on with your day while depressed, that you don't dare give in to it. Missionary leader and inspirational writer Elisabeth Elliot has said that when she's depressed, her method for dealing with it is: "Do the next thing." She does not make a long list of tasks to accomplish that day, but does the next thing before her, then she looks around and decides what is next, and so forth.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 comes to mind. "Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines... yet I will exult in the Lord." Praise Him anyway.
Compromise is one thing; you rationalize a sin and turn a blind eye toward a practice you know is not wise and is hindering your spiritual life. But rebellion is another matter altogether. In rebellion, you drop all pretense about wanting to do the right thing. You enthrone your self and devote your life to pleasing only you. This really gets scary when you're in the Lord's service and draw a paycheck from a church or religious organization and yet are in rebellion against the Lord. I've been there; I know. People are looking to you for spiritual direction and expecting to hear God's voice through you, but what they are receiving is shallowness and staleness, negativism and putdowns, all bubbling up from the acid eating away at your soul.
Sloth. Idleness. Lethargy. Listlessness. Dullness. Slackness. Find yourself in any of these? You just can't make yourself get up and do anything spiritual such as reading the Bible or praying meaningfully or volunteering for a service project. You "just don't feel like it." Sound familiar? There's a law of physics you may be familiar with. Inertia is the tendency of an object at rest to remain there, and a moving object to continue moving. Now, it takes energy to get the object moving and it takes energy to stop it once it's in motion. Like priming a pump, we use energy to get energy. This pertains, whether speaking of the physical or the spiritual.
Proverbs 6:6-11 comes to mind. "How long wilt thou sleep, O thou sluggard?" Wake up. Get up.
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