Monday, August 10, 2009

spiritual boredom

I received the note below from a friend on Facebook. My reply follows.

Re: Boredom in the Union life

Hello friends! I know that title seems oxymoronic, but I wanted to ask you about boredom. I've noticed that sometimes I get bored stiff! It feels like there's nothing mentally stimulating that Christ wants to do or teach me or anything. In the past, I'd to try to do things to "fill myself up", things that blessed me before but now felt very dry. Now, I'll tell God how bored I am and try to have a conversation, but I keep getting distracted by the boredom! Help! Has this happened to you and, if so, what did God say about it? I value your thoughts very much and each of you has been a tremendous blessing to me. It feels like a big, warm family on FaceBook!

my response:

I think spiritual boredom is epidemic in western culture. "Without a vision, my people perish." We need a vision for God's unfolding purpose in our world. Most people think that once Jesus died and rose from the grave, the story was over. Now we simply try to live this life and enjoy it as much as possible, and then one day we will "die and go to heaven". (I am not saying that is what you do... I am just describing what I typically see around me.)

That approach misses the whole point. Jesus came the first time to provide redemption and bring us into relationship with God, but now we wait eagerly for His second coming. The early church longed for His return, when He would begin His 1000 year reign on earth, bringing all of creation under His loving rule. That is our hope. All of creation reconciled to its Creator.

In the meantime, the infinite, awesome One longs to reveal Himself to us in deeper and greater ways. Its free, but it doesn't come easy. It requires that we come to Him in faith, to spend time praying, fasting, meditating on His word, and worshipping. I promise you, if you will give yourself to those practices, He will reward you with what Paul called "the spirit of revelation." That is what he prayed that God would give the Ephesians. Its not about legalistic works. The prayer, fasting, meditation, etc. are not to earn this revelation. Its about putting ourselves in the God-ordained position to receive what he graciously wants to give us. These are some of the works of faith that James speaks of.

Jesus wants to bring you into an intimacy with Himself that words can't describe. He wants to open our eyes in greater and greater ways to see his glory and goodness. He wants to awaken a fascination in our hearts with knowing more of Him. Forgiveness and freedom from guilt and works are just the introduction into this grace in which we stand. He truly wants to take us into the fulness of the knowledge of God. No human can explain that. It can only be experienced in His presence. Sometimes our seeking of Him will be stimulating and even exciting, and sometimes it will be a little on the dry, dull side. I just encourage your to persevere. God is faithful, and "a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

Once your heart becomes fascinated with Him, boredom will, for the most part, become a thing of the past.

grace and peace,


I know, I know.... I am not a very good "comforter" at times. But spiritual passivity is rampant in this generation and "the kingdom of God suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." There is a thread of theology that I have been running across lately that sounds more like muppet land than the kingdom. We just kind of passively go about our business, and let Jesus live through us. Any effort we make is "the flesh", and therefore useless, if not evil. I think the Lord wants partners, and not puppets.

But that's just me...

Lord, straighten out my thinking where I am missing it. Amen.

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