Definition the recession: A general slowdown/decline in economic activity over a long period of time. Measured by employment, investment, spending, household income and business profits. All of these fall during a recession.
My personal definition of a spiritual recession: A general slowdown/decline in our time with God. Our weekly/daily spiritual routines slipping. Its gradual, over a long period of time. We go days and then weeks without ‘spending’ time with Jesus.
How does a person loose their passion for Jesus and the things of Him? How does this decline begin? Is it overnight or gradual? How does a person loose their compassion for the lost, the widows and the homeless? You see I believe satan is a good planner. He has a plan for you and me. He’s sneaky, and he tries to get us to loose our focus gradually, over a long period of time. It’s bigger than the fear of our finances or loosing our homes. While those are big things, those are not the things that should be our firm foundation. You see, my fear is that we are in a spiritual recession. We have lost our sight on those things that hold our faith together. Satan is watching and loves it when we loose sight of that which Jesus has called us to. We are loosing our grip on the things that matter. Some of us are so plagued by fear, we have turned our eyes from the things that matter most.
How do we get out of this spiritual recession? What should we be ‘investing’ in right now? While the stock markets may fall, I have an investment that will only bring a return in double and triple proportions. When we are in a economic recession we tend to ‘spend’ less. When we are in a ‘spiritual’ recession, we need to spend more. More time in His Word, more time in prayer. More time asking Him what our next step should be. Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
Here’s some quotes from Barna that I found to be quite disturbing:
- Although large majorities of the public claim to be “deeply spiritual” and say that their religious faith is “very important” in their life, only 15% of those who regularly attend a Christian church ranked their relationship with God as the top priority in their life. As alarming as that finding was, its significance was magnified by research showing that on average pastors believe that 70% of the adults in their congregation consider their relationship with God to be their highest priority in life.
- Three out of every four teenagers have engaged in at least one type of psychic or witchcraft-related activity. Among the most common of those endeavors are using a Ouija board, reading books about witchcraft or Wicca, playing games involving sorcery or witchcraft, having a “professional” do a palm reading or having their fortune told. Conversely, during the past year fewer than three out of every ten churched teenagers had received any teaching from their church about elements of the supernatural.
- Most Americans have a period of time during their teen years when they are actively engaged in a church youth group. However, Barna’s tracking of young people showed that most of them had disengaged from organized religion during their twenties.
Four themes Barna found:
- Americans are very comfortable with religious faith.
- People do not have an accurate view of themselves when it comes to spirituality. American Christians are not as devoted to their faith as they like to believe.
- Barna’s third theme was that if people’s faith is objectively measured against a biblical standard of how faith is to be practiced, Americans are spiritually lukewarm. “Very limited effort is devoted to spiritual growth.
- Finally, the bestselling author of nearly 40 books contended that the most intriguing blip on the radar screen is the growth of various converging movements of deeply spiritual people who are departing from the conventional forms and communities of faith.
What does all this mean to us? For some of us, we have been asleep, and need to pray and ask the Lord to wake us up to the things of Him. To give us compassion, to get us out of out ‘comfort’ zone. We need to get out of cruise control in our parenting and our marriages. This can only happen as we, as a generation will start by ‘spending’ our time with God. Not out of fear, or from a to-do list, but so that He can open our eyes to the things of Him. So that we can pass the ‘spiritual’ torch to our children and stand up for what is right and stand up for truth. It’s not just our pastors job to feed us. We need to stop blaming him when we are not getting fed and begin by opening Gods Word. He has SO much for us to hear.
Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus said:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.
During this spiritual recession, I pray our eyes would be open to the enemy’s schemes. I pray we would awaken and begin spending like never before. Spending on that which truly matters. Moments with Him that will alter the course of our future and the next generation to come.