Friday, July 12, 2013

Spiritual Slumps

Sports fans are accustomed to hearing about slumps. Basketball players have shooting slumps. Baseball players have hitting slumps. A slump for them is a season of time in which they have a difficult time making a shot or getting a hit

Slumps are common in sports. It is unrealistic to think you can constantly make shots or get hits. So when players go through this, we often here the antidote prescribed, "they need to shoot their way out of the slump" or "they need to keep swinging the bat until they hit their way out of the slump." 

The idea is that they need to keep going through the habits and routines of their craft, be it shooting a basketball or hitting a baseball, until they get out of the slump

In the Christian life, we also experience slumps. It is not uncommon for us to go through spiritual slumps. During these times our relationship with God feels stagnant, stifled, and unproductive. These seasons can make it difficult to pray, read the Bible, or gather with the church in corporate worship.

So how do we get out of these slumps? Is there an antidote for overcoming these times?

The same advice given to sports players would be my advice for getting out of a spiritual slump. You need to "hit" your way out of it. You need to "shoot" yourself out of these slumps. What do I mean? You need to keep going through the habits and routines of our spiritual disciplines, until we get out of the slump

The greatest thing we can do during our spiritual slumps is start pouring ourselves into the Word of God. We need to read and reflect and rejoice at God in His Word. We need to pray. Pray without ceasing and with a fervency that God would awaken our cold hearts to Him. We need to gather with the church for worship. We need to be singing the praises of God and hearing sermons from the Bible. 

James 4:8 tells us "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you..."

The promise of this verse is that if we will make a move toward God, He will make a move toward us. If we are in a spiritual slump, the antidote is to run hard after God. God is not elusive, He is not hiding from us. 

So if you are currently in a spiritual slump, or soon find you are, shoot your way out through prayer and Scripture reading until you are out

Question: how often do you find yourself in spiritual slumps? What things have you found helpful for getting out of them?

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