As soon as the phrase was uttered, I recognized it in my own life:
How many times have I driven my car with the “FUEL LOW” warning flashing? The gas tank was dangerously empty. It needed refilling.
How often have I ventured out on a walk in the heat of summer, only to drain my water bottle before I return home. Tipping the bottle, I tried to get one last drop. But it was poured out, leaving me parched, dry and oh, so tired.
Empty. Parched. Weary.
The flowing rhythms of serving, prayer, scripture reading and study had turned into stale, stagnant habits. Something was wrong; I was just going through the motions. I felt drained, defeated and really tired of trying. Other symptoms included discouragement, disillusionment and feeling disconnected.
Do you recognize any of these in your own life? If so, you may be suffering from spiritual fatigue.
Causes of Spiritual Fatigue
There may be many reasons you are facing spiritual fatigue. Rest assured, you are not alone in experiencing this weariness.
*Enduring hardship. Issues in our lives that are not resolved quickly or easily. This could be a loved one’s sickness that is ongoing or grief over a loss. Perhaps there are job or work related issues that linger, like waiting on the next round of layoffs.
Remember Job? Satan gets permission from God to test Job. Job’s livestock was stolen, his servants were killed, all of his grown children were killed, and finally Satan started messing with Job’s health. What does Job do?
–He worshipped (Job 1:21): “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!”
–He was realistic (Job 2:10): “Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?”
–He knew God was with him, no matter what (Job 19:25-27): “But I know that my Redeemer lives…I will see God in my flesh…my eyes will look at Him.”
*Burnout. Spiritual service with out personal care. Like the fuel tank in our cars, we need refilling. Especially if we are pouring ourselves out in service to the Lord.
Remember Elijah? He challenged the gods of Baal to a contest with the One True God. Of course the gods of Baal lost, and were all killed, which made Queen Jezebel extremely angry. She threatened to kill Elijah, so he ran. Elijah had worked so hard to expose the false gods, and now he was running for his life! What did he do?
–He rested (1 Kings 19:5): “He lay down and slept under a juniper tree.”
-He ate and drank (1 Kings 19:6, 8): “So he ate and drank and lay down again…So he rose and ate and drank.”
Elijah allowed the angel the angel of the Lord to minister to him. He cared for his worn out body by getting nourishment from food, drink and rest.
Remember Moses? He was so burned out from leading the Israelites out of Egypt, that he asked the Lord to kill him (Numbers 11:13-15). What did he do?
-He prayed and got help from others (Numbers 11:16-17): Guided by God, Moses put together a team of men who would walk beside him to share the burden of leading the people. Moses did not have to walk alone in his leading.
*Trials, Persecution, Conflict. Does it seem like every forward step you take in your Christian walk is met with resistance? Is Satan shooting his fiery darts at you? Is your flesh battling your soul to do the things of God?
Remember Paul? He was shipwrecked, hunted down, imprisoned and persecuted, among other things (2 Corinthians 11:26-27, 2 Corinthians 4:9-11). He even had a thorn in his flesh that tormented him, a messenger of Satan (2 Corinthians 12:7). What did he do?
-He pressed on (Philippians 3:14): Paul pressed forward, looking to his heavenly prize in Christ Jesus.
–He kept a heavenly, eternal perspective (Romans 8:18): Paul knew there was no comparing the sufferings here on earth, to the glory that was to come in heaven.
Are you troubled and weary? What needs to be done to turn your spiritual fatigue and into spiritual fervor?
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Grace be with you,