All Christians–at one time or another, to one degree or another—are pecked by a pain I call FAITH FATIGUE.
That’s been the case for me over the past few weeks. It has not stilled my faith, but it has prompted me to ask God for delivery from the funk.
THE ANTIDOTE? Spiritual Discipline.
I know…that sounds like bondage, not freedom. But the way out of faith fatigue is sticking to our spiritual disciplines regardless of our feelings.
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
Spiritual habits cannot, by themselves, bring vitality back to our relationship with Christ. But they are the conduit to Jesus and everything he promises. We cannot do it ourselves. We need God. And we activate our faith through his Word and spending time with him.
Not feeling it? Check in with David:
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; . . . the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.” Psalm 19:7–8
The only way FAITH FATIGUE can lead us into a spiritual desert is if we allow feelings to keep us from the Godly habits of a disciple. Once we cut off his life-giving sustenance, our isolation and fatigue intensify.
Feeling that God “is a million miles away” looks different for every believer. It may come when the world’s distractions pull us away from God. It may be a fear-of-the-future. Or it could be boredom when we spend time with God.
But most often it boils down to a tug-of-war between 1) Who we ARE in Christ; and 2) If we BELIEVE it or not.
The most common reaction to this feeling? Make a “transaction.” You know…listen to Christian music or read a devotion or repent. ALL GREAT MOVES, of course. But if we are in a FAITH FUNK and feel distant from God, even if we can get ourselves to make one of those transactions, at best we will come to it with “faith fatigue.” It’s hard to find God’s relief in that state of mind.
So, what do we do? Two things: 1) Take the pulse of your heart; and 2) Release your distress.
ONE: Take the pulse of your heart.
This is about being HONEST with our feelings toward God in that moment—however depressing they may be. It is NOT looking for a “quick fix” on the internet. We are probing deep into our heart for what we would tell God if there were no restrictions.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:1–2
TWO: Release your distress.
After you tap into an honest assessment of the reality around being “disconnected” from God–LET IT OUT! Speak your truth. Share your feelings. Express your frustration. God can handle anything you throw his way. “I am weary, God, but I can prevail.” Proverbs 30:1
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
What will you do the next time God feels a million miles away?