Nov 6, 2014
Here I am in my usual morning routine, sitting at my desk with my Bible open, ready for my time with God.
But I am feeling spiritually dull. Apathetic. Empty.
I have little love for Christ, some worry about problems, and things to do today that don’t thrill me,
Not only that, the future has some obstacles, I received some disappointing news yesterday, and I am feeling tired.
What Should I Do?
I could think my dullness disqualifies me from receiving anything from God, and so just give up, close my Bible, and go have breakfast.
Or I could just go through the motions of time with God, and then get on with my day, hoping I will have more spiritual life tomorrow.
But there is another option. I could trust God’s promises, bring my cold heart to him, and let him help me.
I think I’ll trust God’s promises.
What God Promises
So what has God promised?
Matthew 5:3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus welcomes those who admit their spiritual poverty – good news for me this morning
Isaiah 57:15 – “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” If I will humble myself before him, he will revive me.
Psalm 19:7 – “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.” God promises to use his word to revive my soul.
Luke 11:13 – “How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” The Spirit’s heart-changing work comes through prayer.
Psalm 51:10 – “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Exactly what I need.
God used those promises to strengthen my faith that he can and will change my heart.
So the next step is to pray —
Holy God, my heart is full of sin and unbelief. But I praise you that by faith alone in Christ alone I can be forgiven,clothed with his perfect righteousness, and fully loved and welcomed by you.
Please, for Christ’s sake, forgive me. Use your word now to change my heart and strengthen my faith.
In Jesus’ glorious name, amen.
Along with prayer, God uses his word to change our hearts. I follow a Bible reading plan that gives me four readings every day. So I’m going to read through my assigned readings, and trust God to meet me.
First, Ezekiel 16 — God took sinful Israel, washed her clean with salvation, and betrothed her to him, only to have her turn from him and give her affections to every man who was willing.
As I prayed over this passage, God showed that I had forgotten what God has done in saving me from sin.
So I took some time to remember my sinfulness, and the lavish grace I experienced as Christ paid for all my sins, changed my heart, and gave me his precious Spirit.
As I do this, I can feel my heart starting to change.
Then, Job 5 — Eliphaz’s counsel to Job is mostly not helpful. But a few things he said are true —
It IS right to seek God (8), and when we do God DOES do great and unsearchable things (9) – like reviving my dull heart.
God DOES set on high those who are lowly (11) — he will meet me, as I admit my lowliness before him.
These truths didn’t change my heart much. But I am still trusting God to use them in me.
Then, John 8:21-30 — Jesus is talking with unbelieving Jewish leaders —
At first, I did not see anything helpful in this passage. But God gave me grace to linger prayerfully, and then I saw v.28 — when you have lifted up the Son of Man [on the cross], then you will know that I am he. So the cross reveals Jesus.
So I took some time to meditate on Jesus’ love as expressed on the cross. I thought of Galatians 2:20 – “He loved me, and gave himself up for me.” Jesus, the Son of God, loves me, cares about me, knows my concerns, and is committed to helping me.
That is definitely changing my heart. I’m seeing Jesus more clearly. My faith is growing.
And finally, 2 Peter 2:17-22 — Peter describes some who are falling away from the faith –
In verse 20 I saw that we escape the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (20).
So the way to overcome my defiling dullness is by setting my heart on Jesus as LORD and SAVIOR. So I took some time to do that.
When I started, I was hardly aware of Jesus. All I saw was problems.
But now I am beholding him more clearly. I am seeing him ruling over these problems.
Before, I was looking to circumstances for peace and joy – and coming up dry.
Now I am looking to Christ for peace and joy – and he is meeting me.
I am no longer feeling dull. I have faith, peace, and even excitement about what he will do today.
He is faithful to his promises. Trust him.
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