I am reading FACING YOUR GIANTS, by Max Lucado. In this book, he talks about David and how he faced Goliath. He uses a term I hadn’t heard before. He said the looseknit tribes of Israel, in One Thousand BC, were going through a bad era. He then states the people went through three centuries of spiritual winter.
The phrase ‘spiritual winter’ set me to thinking.
Do we, as modern day Christians, have spiritual winters in our Christian life? Are we, as a nation, experiencing a form of this phenomenon? If we are, can we break through this ordeal?
It seems the answer to my first question also works for the second one.
1. We stop reading our Bibles. We are a people who can give many excuses. “I don’t have time.” Our pastor reminded us in one of his sermons that we all have 168 hours a week. “I’m too tired at the end of the day.” “I can’t understand what I read.” I believe it was Mark Twain who said, “It’s not what I don’t understand when I read the Bible, it’s what I do.”
2. .We start watching TV shows we know we shouldn’t. We justify our viewing habits by saying or thinking “ But the newspaper said it was good.” “But my friend said it didn’t have any bad language in it.” or “I like this actor/actress, it won’t hurt to watch it.” As a writer, I have sometimes claimed to myself, “It’s research.”
3. We begin to exhibit inconsistencies in our behavior and we justify it. We call our closest friend and tell something that we were told in confidence. Again we try to make our actions seem right. “I can trust her/him. She won’t tell anyone.”
4. . We don’t pray as we once did. There again we make excuses. “I’m too busy.” I saw a sign years ago, “If you are too busy to pray, you are TOO busy.” “I don’t believe God hears my prayers.” If we think God doesn’t hear your prayers, then we need to look at our lives and see what we’ve done to cause it.
5. We look to other gods, forgetting the one true God. We have a plethora of things that can take the place of the God of Abraham, if we let them. Yes, it’s nice to have a new car. . . once in a while. Yes, it’s cool to have a nice home. . . we can afford it. It is nice to have a beautiful yard. . . if we don’t forget how we got it and it doesn’t own us.
Now, how do we get back to where we need to be–come out of that spiritual winter? We need to follow the directions of God in II Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”