A Lethargic Faith?

You know the feeling; life is hard, work is busy, the kids annoy you, church feels ‘weird’ and your Bible goes unopened for weeks on end. Faith, like other ‘journeys’ in life, can become a bit stale at times. We can loose enthusiasm, we feel depleted of joy. Maybe we get bogged down in the controversies and downfalls of others and it feels like we’re wading through a bog of thick mud. In those moments you feel alone, but you’re not. Countless Christians have been there, and are there, with you. But you’re also not helpless in it.

Ultimately, the truth is that you are never alone because Christ is always with you. The promises of God to be with His people do not waver nor falter. He will never leave you, even if it feels like you’re alone at times.

But there are also things we can do to help ourselves out of lethargy. Liturgy can be the cure of lethargy.

Sure you have the Sunday church meetings, the prayer meetings and the small group. But there are also daily practices that you can put in place that will help you out of your lethargically state. The ‘liturgy of every day’ helps you get into a routine that helps you to prioritise what you’re doing.

That daily liturgy could be the same prayer during every breakfast meal. It could be reading your Bible at a specific time, regardless of where you are. But it can also include the normal day to day acts that you do and developing your own liturgy. It could be reciting a Psalm as you do the dishes (or empty the dishwasher). It would be that you say a prayer with your child as you change their nappy (and wrestle with them if they don’t like getting their nappy changed). Creating your own liturgy in life, your own spiritual routines that point you to Christ, doesn’t require you to wear gowns or to be with a congregation at the time.

Creating a liturgy of of life will help you have small spiritual routines that become normal in your day to day, that point you to Jesus and that help you through the bog of mud that can accumulate with a lethargic faith.

But even in this, you are not alone. Creating routines for the sake of it won’t help, asking the Lord for strength to continue such routines because you know their for your spiritual good is important. At our core, we are still sinful human beings. We get distracted, we loose interest and we give up all the time. Asking the Lord, by His Spirit, to help enable you to develop spiritual routines that will help you grow means that you are relying on the Lord to help and He will.

You are not alone in your lethargic faith, many Christian have been and are there with you. But you’re also not hopeless in them, the Lord is with you and He will enable you to set up godly routines to help you grow in your love for Him, His Word, His people and for the lost. Don’t give up to lethargy but try liturgy, it may help more than you think.

One of the things we used to do as a family was recite a poem that my dad wrote about the armour of God. We would recite it in the car every day on the drive to school. At the time I didn’t think much of it, but it is still in my head all these years later and have proved to be a great help over the years. Let me see if I remember it correctly…

“I put on a suit of armour, each day I get dressed.
I then step in confidence, knowing I am blessed.
The belt is one of truth, to defeat the enemies’ lies.
The breastplate of righteousness protects my heart, which beneath it flies.
The shoes protect my feet, as I step out for God each day.
The shield of faith protects me from the arrows, which come my way.
The helmet of salvation protects my mind of Satan’s lies.
The sword of the Spirit, for I must fight on until the enemy dies.
I put on this suit of armour, each day that I get dressed.
I then step in faith, knowing, to Jesus my sins I have confessed. “

Alex Chalmers

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