Spiritual drowsiness is something with which all Christian struggle. When Paul tells us to “wake from sleep” in Romans 13:11, we know he is speaking to Christians. He sounds the alarm because our “salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” What are some signs that we, as Christians, are spiritually sleepy? Here are four.
1. A Diminishing Interest in the Things of God
The first sign is that we begin to grow uninterested in the things of God. Maybe you are in this situation. Perhaps you can remember when you used to read the word of God and the promises used to jump off the page and move you. Maybe there was a time when you longed to listen to Christian music as much as possible because it stirred your soul with joy. Maybe you hungered to go to church to listen to good preaching, but even that was not enough. During the week, you would find sermons and teachings, depending on how long you have been a Christian, on cassette, CD, or a podcast and listen to them. Though this was your reality at one point, you now find them dull. Sign number one that we are drowsy is that we have a diminishing interest in the things of God, where in many cases, we used to have a substantial passion for them.
2. We Long for Something of the World More than God
Since our focus is not on the things of the Lord, we find that our focus tends to move toward the things of the world. There is something worldly that we are passionate about, a little bit more than God.
We all know kids get bored, but have you ever noticed that when a kid gets bored, it is usually when they want to do something they cannot do? Let us say you have a five or six-year-old son or daughter, and they say, “I want to go swimming,” and you respond, “It’s 55 degrees; the pool is green; you cannot go swimming.” So, they start moping around, and then what do you hear? “I’m bored.” “Well, why don’t you play with your new toy?” “No, that’s boring.”
They are bored, not because the things in front of them that are good for them at that moment are boring. They are bored because they want something else, and so when we find ourselves longing for something other than God, that is the reason we have a diminishing interest in the things of God. Something else is capturing our attention, so the second sign we are spiritually sluggish is that we long for something of the world more than we long for the things of God.
3. Dead Orthodoxy
The third sign is that worship becomes mere formalism. It no longer has the life it used to. Yes, we still show up every Sunday. Yes, we still sing the songs. We still listen to the preaching. We may even take notes. We may still work in the church, but as we do it, there does not seem to be much life in it. We do all the right things, but we do them in a dragging condition because the power of the Holy Spirit is absent.
Therefore, a third sign would be dead orthodoxy. You are going to a church that preaches the truth. You believe the truth, but you are stagnant. Many times, the church is the one who gets blamed for it, but it is often our problem.
4. A Lack of Prayer
Spiritual sleepiness will manifest itself in a lack of prayer. We no longer call upon the Lord during the day like we used to. We do not rest in Him when we hear dreadful news throughout the day. Instead of bringing our concerns to God, our news feeds fill us with more anxiety and stress. So, the fourth sign we are spiritually drowsy is a diminished prayer life.
This list is from a sermon called “A Spiritual Wake-Up Call.”
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