Hibernation may be okay for bears, but it’s not healthy for our spiritual life.
God never intends for His life in us to go dormant. There is never a time you are to go into hibernation and sleep, so to speak. We call that “backsliding.” God is at work every moment of every day in your life, and we are to join Him in His work. Not only when we are consciously talking to Him about a situation or spending time in His Word, but when we are confronted with paperwork at school or in the office, we are to remember that God is with us and calls us to join him. I’m so glad that we are not alone as we face life.
Though hibernation is not on God’s agenda for us, we all face times when we step back from Him and take a spiritual nap. The Apostle Paul wrote, “The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11).
How can we wake up from a spiritual nap? We can’t set an alarm to jar us awake, but there are steps we can take.
- AMEN. Start off with the same prayer as King David, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:10, 12) We can’t make lasting changes without asking for God’s help.
- BIBLE. I don’t think there is anything more powerful than spending time in God’s Word. The Bible is the only book that can nourish our soul. Jesus’ offer still applies, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29) Let me suggest that you spend as much time as you can reading Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These New Testament books, like no other, give us a glimpse into the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus. Falling in love with Him is the way in which our soul comes alive!
- CHURCH. The Christian life wasn’t meant to be lived in isolation. We need friends, people with whom we can be honest and who will encourage us to keep up the fight against sin. I’ve found these kinds of friends at church. So, get involved in your church. Develop friendships with other Christ-followers. Hebrews 3:13 says, “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” James affirms this when he writes, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
- DIALOGUE. Try to develop a running dialogue with Christ throughout your day. Don’t compartmentalize God to only “spiritual” endeavors. He wants to be included in every part of your life.
I hope these four steps will help you to become stronger in your relationship with Christ. If you haven’t established that relationship with Him, I hope you’ll open your life to Him soon.