Exchanging Apathy for Passion: How to Restart Your Spiritual Life
Burnt out, exhausted, and lifeless…are these words to describe your time with God?
We’ve all been there. There are divine seasons marked by one breakthrough after the other, fueled by God-breathed passion – when Scripture feels supernaturally alive, life is full of purpose, and God’s mission is clear. Then we wake up, barely willing to get out of bed, prayers become hurried, and God feels…distant. What was supposed to be a day of missing regular devotionals turns into weeks, maybe even months. We say God is silent but how can He speak when we’re not listening?
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
Set aside your shame.
So, here we are. You feel stuck spiritually. God becomes an afterthought instead of a priority. We give Him what little is left of our day instead of making Him the foundation. We make excuses: our to-do list is endless, and we’re too tired. This reasoning gets us nowhere; it is valid, but this cycle needs to end.
In these moments, we may feel looming guilt – sometimes so powerful that we become paralyzed by it – and end up doing nothing. Friend, set aside your shame, and continue where you left off. He is simply waiting for you to cast your cares upon Him. We will truly never experience the fullness of Christ until we discover the emptiness of everything else.
What are you filling yourself with?
Nowadays, everything is designed to get our attention. We simply can’t resist a blinking screen or an unopened notification. Do you really need half an hour to mindlessly scroll through your IG Stories…and another 15 minutes to create that caption? Sis, are you willing to sacrifice that time for God? What areas of your life aren’t bearing fruit and need to be evaluated?
When you’re running on empty and the self proves insufficient, where do you go to fill yourself? What are you willing to give up that is taking the place of God? Put Him in His rightful place. Ultimately, your desire to be with God and make Him your highest priority is an overflow of the posture of your heart.
Don’t make emotions your foundation.
Don’t allow your emotions to fuel your day; lead it. You won’t feel like opening the Bible. You won’t feel like waking up at 8 in the morning to go to church on a Sunday. You won’t feel like following through in ministry work when conflicts arise. Instead, embrace Godly discipline. Pray for the desire, that doesn’t come naturally, to do His purpose and mission for you. Set an appointment with Him every day and follow it. If something gets in the way, it’s okay, allot time, and adjust as needed. One thing that keeps me going – no matter how faithless, lazy, and undisciplined I get – is that I never open my Bible and regret it after. Choose to be with Him, no matter what your feelings say.
“Loving our King is first an act of the will, a choice to put Him first. When we choose to consult the Spirit of Truth instead of our own feelings, we make different decisions in out daily lives, decisions that place God’s priorities above our own wants.
We can’t muster genuine spiritual fervor. It only comes through consistent prayer, meditation on Truth, heartfelt worship, and intimate communion with the King of all kings.”
Puritan writer and preacher, John Bunyan, puts it beautifully, “He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day.” There is no other way to begin, just make time.
It’s funny when we think we have no time for God – because we have other “priorities” – but I’ve discovered that on days when I put God first, I become even more productive. God can multiply whatever I give Him; it really is a matter of what we build our day around. He does not benefit – in the human sense – from our prayers and devotionals but we do exponentially, when we become aware of how, apart from His grace, we can do nothing.
As young single (unmarried) women, we need to train ourselves to embrace Godly discipline, sacrifice, and make time. If we’re already having such a difficult time incorporating daily meditation and worship in our days, do you really think it’ll get easier when we have a family to serve daily? Guard your time, and be a good steward of what He has given you.
Find the right resources.
How will you remain faithful? By following what works for you. The possibilities are, literally, endless.
- Download: First 5 by Proverbs 31 Ministries, She Reads Truth, and Solid Joys by Desiring God provide daily devotionals and/or seasonal Bible Studies. Best of all, they’re free from the App Store!
- Listen: For podcasts, I’ve thoroughly been enjoying intellectual Q&A conversations with John Piper in Ask Pastor John! Listen online (with transcription if you prefer reading) or on Spotify.
- Watch: Weekly messages from Elevation Church andTransformation Church led by some pretty amazing pastors keep me sane!
- Read: If you’re like me and love highlighting and writing notes, I’ve been going through Oswald Chambers’ bestselling devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, which is also available online. Take a breather, and read entries from my favorite female contemporary Christian writers and/or bloggers, Ann Voskamp, Jasmine Holmes, and Lore Ferguson Wilbert. Plus, read articles from Propel Women!
“There is no better cure for spiritual apathy than to make Him the highest priority of your day. As you take practical steps of obedience to draw near to Him, He will draw near to you and ignite spiritual passion in your soul. As you tune out the cares of life and spend time in His presence, your lukewarm faith will soon be replaced with a holy spiritual fire.
Only when we are willing to give God the best hours of the day – rather than what is left after we have wasted most of our time in earthly things – will we experience vibrant intimacy with our heavenly King and become the set-apart woman He has called us to be.”
Change doesn’t happen overnight, but do expect a renewing of the mind and spirit…in time. Fill yourself by doing your daily devotionals, by regularly going to church, and by communing with His people. At first nothing happens, and you may feel discouraged, but keep pursuing Christ. We will continue to see a difference in our perspectives, our responses, and our interactions because we are no longer running on empty but have and receive life in Him.
This entry is inspired by The Set-Apart Woman: God’s Invitation to Sacred Living by Leslie Ludy.