Most believers are sincere in their desire to live a life of daily spiritual growth. Striving for intimacy with God, we pray, read our bibles and do our best not to miss the gathering of believers. Suddenly, things change. Prayers become boring and bible study isn’t just as appealing as it used to be. You know that scenario when you sincerely desire to be attentive in church but the sermons had become too boring for your heavy eyes to overcome. What changed? You sometimes ask yourself. Getting complacent in your walk with God can happen quite unconsciously. You just suddenly realize that the zeal for God and His kingdom is gone. The feeling of frustration and emptiness gradually builds up around your fellowship with God. Well my friend, it’s time to get out of Spiritual Stagnancy!
If you are not growing, then you are stagnant. If you are stagnant then you are not evolving and the kingdom business cannot advance in your hands.Fruitful E. John
Spiritual stagnancy is the direct opposite of spiritual growth. It implies lack of advancement in your walk with God. It means that one is neither maturing nor bearing fruit as the Holy Spirit would normally lead one to. If you are not seeing evidences of spiritual growth in your walk with God, then you are spiritually stagnant. It is impossible to be neither.
Every believer is susceptible to spiritual stagnation, but we have to be aware of it and know how to rise above it. For a start, Here are 5 obvious signs of spiritual stagnancy to watch out for.
5 signs of spiritual stagnancy to watch out for:
1. Disconnection with God:
This often plays out when the breathe of the Spirit is lost. The word of God suddenly grows boring and the letter starts to kill. You find yourself praying the same lines of prayers in your prayer time with no life or inspiration.
2. Neglecting the fellowship of the brethren:
Spiritual activities are no longer inspiring and going to church is all together becoming burdensome.
Complacency is the deadly enemy of spiritual progress. The contented soul is the stagnant soul.A.W. Tozer
3. Complacency/Loss of Zeal:
You consciously or unconsciously begin to make excuses for absence at your spiritual duty post. The zeal is gone and the kingdom work seem like a total waste of time.
4. Insensitivity to Sin:
Now you can tolerate one or two sins in your life. Although you ask for forgiveness, you truly do not feel sorry for going against the commandments of God anymore.
That summarizes it all. Your walk with God has lost its definition. Its not hot because you are not motivated to continue. It’s not cold since you have a form of godliness. You are neither cold nor hot. Remember what God says he will do to the lukewarm? He will spue them out of his mouth. Spiritual stagnancy is a dangerous phase and believers must never stay too long here.
Get it right. Spiritual stagnancy is not backsliding. However, it is the phase that precedes backsliding. This is why spiritual growth is essential. Believers must keep looking out for ways to build a stronger spiritual life.
Just before you learn how to overcome spiritual stagnancy, read below the probable causes of spiritual stagnancy.
Causes of Spiritual Stagnancy
Causes of spiritual stagnancy #1. Self-Sufficiency:
We write letter to spiritual stagnancy when we begin to think that our spiritual growth is our own making. When we become independent of the grace of God and of the Holy Spirit, we go all out expending strength for what grace should carry. The question is, how far can we go on our own? Not too far. God wants us to live the christian life with his help. That’s why he sent us the Holy Spirit. If we choose to live it without His help, we may find ourselves always in the pool of spiritual stagnancy.
Knowing you have God shouldn’t be an excuse to remain stagnant.
Causes of spiritual stagnancy #2. Passive Spirituality:
The other extreme of self-sufficiency is passive spirituality. When we are too lazy to walk out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Scripture says to be transformed by the renewing of our mind but when we become too busy to look into the word, our minds would not be renewed. God would not come down from heaven to feed our souls. He wants us to do it ourselves, that is why he gave us the bible. God won’t obey the scriptures for us. It’s his commandment to us and he wants us to obey it. If we don’t want to find ourselves in the sea of spiritual stagnancy, then we must be actively following the Lord, actively obeying his instructions, actively reading his word, and actively doing his work.
Causes of spiritual stagnancy #3. Wrong or imbalanced spiritual diet:
Just like a bad diet can cause sickness for your health bodily, feeding your soul with false doctrine can make you spiritually sick and stagnant. When you eat the same food over and over again, you get tired of the food and may lose appetite for it. In the same way, when you are not dynamic in your walk with God, you may encounter spiritual stagnancy. Christianity is not religion. It’s a relationship with God. If you are not careful, religious laws will make you spiritually stagnant. When we allow the Holy Spirit to govern our spiritual affairs, we will find ourselves living a more dynamic life.
Causes of spiritual stagnancy #4. Not bearing fruits:
When we refuse to bear fruit, the bible says we will loose connection with the vine. The Lord wants us to go out there and teach others what he has taught us. He wants us to share the gospel with the sinners around and make the world a better place. God wants us to reach out to the homeless, the orphans and the less privileged around us with the resources he has given.
According to scriptures, we are the light of the world. Our talents, skills, abilities, money and material resources are given to us to light the world. When we shine, our path grows brighter. The more fruits we bear, the more he purges us to bear more. But if we refuse to be a blessing to others, we are setting ourselves up for spiritual stagnancy.
How to overcome Spiritual Stagnancy
- Take Responsibility for your spiritual growth: Only those that accept responsibility make progress in life. Decide to overcome spiritual stagnancy and desire spiritual growth. Henceforth, be intentional about your walk with God. Set spiritual goals and commit to meeting those goals.
- Retreat to re-fire: Take a break off your busy schedule and have some time with God. Do some soul searching. Create time to meditate on and re-evaluate God’s purpose for your life. Pray and seek for a divine encounter. Listen to Sermons of spirit-filled men of God. Spend time in worship. Get intimate with your maker. Set your altar ablaze again.
- Change your routines: Doing the same thing in the same way for a long time can be very boring. Change your spiritual routines. Be dynamic with your prayer time. Listen to audio bibles or read new versions. Get a new concordance or any new resource that will help spice up your bible study. Be dynamic in your approach to spiritual activities.
- Go out of your way to be a blessing to others: Someone close by needs your help. Lend a helping hand. Share – share the gospel, a word in time to him that is weary, financial or material resources for the less privileged. Use your talents, your gifts and your skills. Commit to living for the betterment of the world and the reward of eternity. Bear fruits for the Lord, let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.
- Depend on God: Refuse the temptation to be self-sufficient and always acknowledge God. Depend on the Holy Spirit for your daily walk with God and yield to his promptings always. Avoid complacency and refuse to procrastinate God’s instructions.