Someone wrote to the channel and said: “I am wondering this because I think I might have backslidden or something. I feel tired and not happy all the time and it is getting harder and harder for me to be obedient to the Lord and to not sin. I also think I may have grown weary.
This is a complex question and could have to do with motivation and being frustrated in ministry, being over-worked, over-involved in the world or demonic intervention. Let’s look at them one by one.
Are you serving in a ministry? Are you there because the Lord called you – or because of other reasons: it was a need and no-one else stepped up, it’s expected/required of you to ‘serve’, it made you more socially acceptable in the church, you really wanted to do this but you don’t really have the gifts or abilities to do it. (pride jumped in front of sensibility)
Unless you are serving because of the FIRST reason – you probably need to get back out of what you are doing. The Lord has gifted each of His Children as HE chooses, and will use you in and through those gifts. But you can’t take a hat and wear it as a coat! If He has not led you to a particular place in the Body, you are operating out of the wrong motives. But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as He chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. I Cor. 12: 18-20
Additionally, even if you are working in a ministry that is EXACTLY where the Lord wants you, you still need to devote to Him the lion’s share of your time and attention! Your relationship with Him is where you draw your own ministry OUT of. Allowing your personal relationship with Him to suffer, in the place of the busy-ness of ministering, is a sure way to lose your focus on the One Who drew you to serve in the first place.
Are you being over-worked? You may be the head of the household and the only breadwinner, or a single parent in the same situation. You are working two or even three jobs and find yourself exhausted most of the time. You barely have time for the children, much less God. What to do?
In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success. Proverbs 3:6
Our first allegiance needs to be the Lord – and if ANYTHING is preventing that, it’s a sign that things need to be re-arranged in your life. GOD is our provider and strength. If working is consuming not only your time but your energy and physical strength – you need to re-examine the work. It may mean having to move to a different place and drop a job. It may mean living a more austere life: cutting out things and living with less, and finding used clothing and bargain stores to buy food – giving up the things the world considers not only normal, but our “right” to have.
God places us in situations to teach us, develop us, mold us into what He intended from the very beginning. We need to become and stay sensitive to that – and if He calls us to a life of poverty, austerity, etc. in order for us to have the time and intention of drawing deeper into our relationship with Him – He will do this. Our job is to stay obedient, no matter where He calls us.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. James 1:22-25
How much of the world is in you – and how far are you in the world?
Where is your heart drawn to most during the day? To the next social gathering, the next shopping trip, the next TV program or sports event? Or does your heart long all day long to be done with the daily demands of life, so that you can retire to your quiet place and be alone with Jesus? If you are feeling distant and unhappy, and it is harder and harder to serve Him…you have probably “lost your first Love” and taken a dive back into the world. Take a good look at where you spend your time and why. If your heart yearns to be in the things of the world, and you struggle to spend time with the Lord – you are living your life upside down. HE is to be the source, the fountain of Life and strength from which you carry out the rest of your life. And if you are not spending time being refreshed and covered with His protection – you will walk only in your own strength…
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
You may be under demonic oppression.
Right now there is still a spirit of fatigue and sleep working against the Body. The only antidote is worship and serious time with the Lord. But it’s not always about how you feel. It’s more about the posture of your will…that is, wanting to do for the Lord but sensing that you are being blocked. You need to be pro-active in fighting against the demons that would strip you of your time, interest and devotion to the Lord through their lying ways and schemes. We recommend praying the Binding Prayer daily at the least to help combat their interference in your life.*
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.…Ephesians 6:11-13
Finally, the Lord cautions us about allowing ourselves to become cold or lukewarm towards Him:
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Revelation 3:16
Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. Matthew 24:12 It is important to note that the word translated “love” here is agape – the word for Love of God, Love for God. The writer is not speaking just love in general (although we see this, too, happening in the world today.) He is specifically pointing out people’s love towards God growing cold. This is an important warning, as we know now that technology has advanced to the point of being able to target a person’s mind with viruses and devises that will kill your desire for God. God has promised to override this – but you must be diligent in your walk with Him.
*the Binding Prayer is posted under the Prayer Category on this Blog.
To further understand this topic, see Heartdweller’s video:
“Lukewarmness, How it Happens”, January 14, 2016