HowTo Avoid Spiritual Burnout. 05/15/2015 (Evening thought)

Isaiah 40:29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

This passage of scripture teaches us the one and only way to avoid spiritual burnout, a condition where as Christians we have begun to run the Christian race with tremendous energy and zeal, but after a while we become spiritually fatigued, and thus try to follow what we know is right, without any real interest or earnestness as previously. This condition is a lot more prevalent than many of us realize, and the only way it can be avoided or cured is by waiting upon the Lord for a daily renewal of grace and strength to help us in times of need. There is a tendency to lose interest in God and spiritual things after a period of time, during which the adversary of souls gradually introduces other priorities into our lives, and thus tempts us to put Jesus in second place for so called valid reasons.

But as the body needs a fresh supply of food and drink everyday in order to stay healthy and resilient, just so the soul needs a daily dose of Christ and His righteousness in order for us to stay in tune with God. The apostle refers to the Christian experience as a marathon in which there are several runners, seeking the grand prize of God and eternal life. In this race he ably describes the way in which the race must be run, for he specifies that we must look unto Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our faith. Then in another passage He warns us of fighting, but only beating the air, meaning that a whole lot of effort in the wrong direction may be made, yet we do not find ourselves moving forward, but instead stagnant, or spinning our wheels in the proverbial mud. Let's read:

1st Corinthians 9:24  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:  27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Hebrews 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith"...

In order for Christians to run with a steady and even tread throughout the entire course of the race, we must be reinvigorated and recharged by the Living and the written word, for these are the two main elements that are necessary for spiritual growth and longevity. The Living word is imparted to us on a daily basis through the presence of The Holy Spirit in our hearts, but He must be diligently sought and asked for, because He will not make His abode with us if He is not invited. That's the reason why Christ is pictured in Revelation chapter three as standing at the door of our hearts, knocking and seeking entrance. We then must respond by opening the door daily so that He may come in and "Sup" with us. 

That word "Sup" means to have intimate communion with Christ on a daily, ongoing basis, and therefore it is of critical importance that we set aside quality time each day so that He can refresh us with His presence. But Jesus never kicks down the door of the heart as the devil often tries to do, for the free service of love, and the appreciation of His character, and His great sacrifice for us, should be the motivating factors driving us to the throne of grace. The habit of seeking God only when we are in difficulty, or when we are straddled with daunting circumstances is not good, and should be avoided at all costs, because the "Santa Claws" mentality of once a year interaction will not work in the spiritual realm.

As we study His word, and meditate upon His purity and the truths He has given us to live by, an imperceptible change will come over us, and we will find ourselves re-energized and buoyant, instead of burned out and fatigued, just hobbling along in a listless manner, seeking for sporadic opportunities to receive a spiritual high. Some Christians actually use church services as a kind of drug, where an emotional high is ardently sought to take us through to the other weekly service, with no renewal of our spiritual energies in between. The cure for this fatal malady is "Waiting upon God", not in a spasmodic manner whenever we find the time, but as Paul rightly stated, in a consistent and deliberate manner, for in this way we will avoid the snare of spiritual burnout and will be empowered by God to live victoriously, each and every day.

We therefore end with a passage of scripture which, which confirms this sacred truth, and it is the will of God, that from here on out, we will learn and practice on a continual basis, the essentials of waiting upon The Lord. Let's read:

 Psalm 123:1  Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. 2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

May God add His blessing to the study and practice of His word. "Good night" and God bless!