How to Cure Spiritual
There is an old hymn entitled, *When My Love For Christ Grows Weak.* I think of this great old song every time this subject comes up. And if we are honest with ourselves it will come up for the simple reason that it is most important to spiritually re-evaluate ourselves often.
Are we as spiritually strong as we were when we were first converted to Christ Jesus? Has our interest in the *cause of Christ* slipped?
Let us think back to that time when we first found Jesus and His power to save. After our conversion to Christ we were zealous and deeply interested in our faith. When we then went out into the world to tell the world of our new found love and dedication to Christ and told this to our friends in school or at work we hoped that they would also see the reasons why we were so happy.
But what was the reality we usually faced? Disinterest. Or the attitude from many, *Oh he will get over it.* This has a definite cooling down effect on new converts to Christ. And this is the first test of our faith. We usually come to terms with this and move on.
After this we face the day to day life of the Christian. And the fact is that Christians can become weak in other ways also. One of them is that we are drawn by the world. The world is very powerful in its allure. There are many temptations of the flesh and Satan uses his every power of deception to make us believe that this world is all there is and you better get it while you can! We can become so engrossed in this life that we forget completely the purpose we are here for.
There is an old story of a soldier during the Civil War who found himself stationed in a huge army awaiting orders to go to the front and fight a great battle. In civilian life this soldier had been a watch repairman, so naturally he saw a need to do some repair work with all the watches in the camp that had quit running because of the dirt and grime of military life. After awhile he had a thriving business going with a large backlog of repair jobs awaiting his expertise. And he was making quite a bit of money at his pre-war vocation. Time went by and the army continued to wait on orders. Weeks turned into months that turned into nearly half a year. All the while, the soldier stayed very busy repairing the vast number of watches as the army waited.
Finally the army received orders in the middle of the night to be ready to move out at first light. This was what they had all been waiting for and finally the great battle was to be fought. The entire army marched off to the coming battle; all except the watch repairing soldier. He was just too busy repairing watches to go and fight as he had enlisted to do. So he kept working on the watches until the provost officer and his men found him, charged him with cowardice and desertion and hanged him on the spot!
Why did I tell such a story? Any soldier has a primary purpose. To fight the enemy. This man forgot his primary purpose and paid the awful price. 2 Timothy 2:4, *No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.*
We cannot become so engrossed in the chaos and frantic pace of this life with all of its complications and details that we forget our true purpose as followers of Christ. Certainly we have families and friends and responsibilities that are important but are these more important than what comes after this life? This life is short and very temporary. Eternity awaits and the fact is that we determine our eternal fate (Remember Paul said, *work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,* Philippians 2:12). We must work out for ourselves how to face the temptations of this world and the New Testament shows us how to go about this.
But what is the remedy for spiritual weakness?
James 4:8b reads, *Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.* Remember Cornelius in Acts 10 who was a good man and a believer in God but had not heard the *truth,* had not heard of Christ and he prayed to God? Because God heard his prayer he sent Peter who then came and brought the gospel of Jesus to Cornelius. He and his entire household were saved as a result of his *drawing closer to God* and then God drawing closer to him. So, one remedy is pray for faith, understanding of the will of God and be willing to do whatever faith in God requires.
Another remedy for spiritual weakness is found in Hebrews 5:12-14, *For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.* And then, *All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works* (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). We need to know as much of the knowledge of God as possible and actually become teachers ourselves, not just perpetual novices. God expects for our faith to mature and along with it our ability to help in the spread of the gospel.
Spiritual weakness can be alleviated by employing this second step as a remedy. We will need to use it over and over throughout our lives to remain faithful Christians in the service of our Lord.
The disease of weakness is nothing to be ashamed of. It is simply our humanity that requires constant closeness to the presence of God and knowledge of His word. But we are the ones who have to act in order to save ourselves (Philippians 2:12)!
By Marc Smith
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