We can’t prevent the snow blanketing much of our country. Will winter never end? But a more serious condition can paralyze us. When it comes to spiritual growth, can you recognize the five signs of a spiritual freeze-up?
1. Life Becomes Boring
Just like endless days of winter, we may choose to soothe our spirits with meaningless pursuits. We may feel boxed in by uncontrollable circumstances and try unsuccessfully to curb the new chill of boredom. Instead of tuning our spirits, we often turn to things that won’t last–even harmful habits that set us up for failure. Our spiritual growth begins to suffer.
2. We Question Our Purpose
Can one person really make a difference in this world? Reasons can turn to excuses, and doubts plague us constantly. We’re too tired or busy to pray, or God’s too busy to listen, right? Five years from now? We can’t even see beyond today. We no longer see others’ needs. The forecast predicts another Arctic cold wave, and our spiritual growth takes a nosedive.
3. We Listen to the Wrong Voices
“Why bother trying? Nothing seems to work. No one cares what we do, anyway. And others are far more talented than us. We’re not qualified. This pattern will never end. Why don’t we hang it up? Just quit.” Dust gathers on the shelf along with our Bibles. The temperature is dropping, but we can’t feel it. Spiritual growth is stagnant.
4. God Turns Up the Heat
God turns up the heat, but frost has formed on the edges of our hearts, and the thermostat drops lower. We grab a sweater, but it does no good. Our spiritual wardrobe is threadbare. The warmth of His Spirit hovers close, but we can no longer feel it. If we don’t act soon, the pipes may freeze. No spiritual growth.
5. We Ignore Help
God’s gentle nudges go unheeded. He calls, but we can no longer hear His voice. His pressure ramps up, but our hearts are numb. We’re too scared–or proud–to ask for help. Our spiritual growth has frozen, and only a miracle can thaw our spirits. We are iced in by a spiritual freeze-up. And we don’t know what to do. Sounds like a pretty bleak picture, doesn’t it? But the good news is, God still waits on the other side of that door:
Look! I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me” (Revelations 3:20, TLB).
True Spiritual Growth and Spring Will Come Again!
Only Jesus can keep life exciting and purposeful, even in the dead of winter doldrums. Give thanks daily that He hasn’t abandoned you (Psalm 37:28) and that He has a wonderful plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11). Take time to listen to Jesus. He will always speak truth to you from His Word (John 17:17). Recognize the discipline and warnings Jesus gives you. Run to His open arms of love (Psalm 31:7).
How do you keep your spiritual life growing and vital? How do you prevent a spiritual freeze-up?