How do I know if my faith has run dry? Honestly answer the questions in bold with a YES or NO — after each question is more explanation so you know exactly what’s being asked:
- Do you operate from a sense of duty or from a spirit of gratitude? Are you trying to live a good, moral, responsible life because you feel like you should or because you are so thankful that God profoundly changed the direction of your life at some point? Where are you Right Now?
- Have you lost (or never found) the desire to share the gospel with unbelievers? Is the Good News still good news to you? Do you find yourself looking for ways to spread this good news to others or are you quite happy to keep it to yourself?
- Do you have to feign enthusiasm when hearing that someone has chosen to follow Christ? How do you feel when you hear that a person you know has become a believer — does it thrill you or trouble you? If it troubles you, do you pretend to be happy since that’s the “proper” religious response?
- Are you driven by material pursuits while paying lip service to God? Where do you find your joy and your enjoyment — in the new colours you’ve chosen for your home or wardrobe or in your personal interactions with the Lord?
- Do you go to church to “get it over with” or to encounter God? If you could do whatever you wanted to do on Sunday morning without it affecting your family or reputation or commitments, would you go to church or is there somewhere else you’d rather be? (note: every Canadian would choose the beach in Hawaii in mid-January so think of the big picture here!) In other words, are you putting in time like punching your time card at the factory — been there, prayed that — or do you attend church with a holy expectation of hearing from the living God?
- Are you apathetic about matters of faith and spirituality, eager to change the topic when discussion arises? What do you like to talk about with your friends? I don’t mean that you have no interest in family or food or fun but if the conversation veers into spiritual matters are you pleased and ready to engage or do you silently hope the topic will be changed soon?
- Do you pray other than to “bless the food and the hands that made it”? Has your prayer life been reduced to public display — you only pray when others are looking?
- Is your Bible more than a Sunday accessory? Do you pick it up during the week or is it exactly where you put it when you got home from church last week?
- Do you ever feel like a hypocrite? Like you are leading a double life? Do you have an uneasy feeling you are pretending to be something your’e not? Are you worried that your behaviour might blow your cover and reveal the emptiness inside?
How did you do? There were nine questions, what’s your ratio of yes’s to no’s? If your number of yeses alarmed you, you’re not alone. About 80% of believers experience spiritual dryness at some point in their journey of faith.
So what do you do if you find yourself with a little spiritual sand in your shoes? Stay tuned. The next post will give you some solid tips to get you moving “God-ward” again.