Ever Feel Lukewarm?

Empty nest and letting go was the subject of my previous post. Granted my home is quieter, but the house doesn’t feel as empty as my soul.

It’s like God moved away and didn’t leave a forwarding address. And I can’t muster the energy to seek Him.

empty white room backgroundnovember 2011 recruiterpoet blog xeh5ufu5 November 2011 Recruiterpoet BlogTell me you’ve been there too because admitting I’m spiritually lukewarm and lethargic isn’t a piece of cake.

After all, I write about seeing the Lord in my everyday circumstances, and wanting more of Him. So how can I write when I’m unable to experience the reality of His presence?

More important, how can I live well and be in God’s will without seeking His presence?

I know that nothing can separate me from the love of God.

I’m not depressed. I’m not bored. If anything, I’ve allowed busyness and frivolity to fill the void of God’s absence.

And yet, what did I expect would happen? Who moved away from whom?

Earlier this year, I had a forever friend who gave me the silent treatment. She didn’t return my phone texts. She was unavailable to meet with me. I finally confronted her, “What have I done to make you pull away?”

Her response, “I’m hurt. I don’t want to be somebody you meet on occasion before you’re off to the next person or thing. When did I become an obligation instead of someone you want to be with?”

Her words struck a chord. For I was guilty of indifference; taking our friendship for granted.

Perhaps I’m guilty again.

  •        Have I taken my relationship with the Lord for granted? Or do I remember I’m not my own. I was bought with a price, Christ’s precious blood.  (1 Corinthians 6:20).
  • Is my worship of God, Almighty a morning discipline or my heart’s desire?
  • Have I’ve neglected to meet with the Lord because I’m pursuing other things: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life? (1 John 2:16)

I only know I can’t go for very long before I miss the Lord.

He alone can restore to me the joy of His salvation (Psalm 51:12).

For in His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).

I know because I have been there. I’ve tasted and seen the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:8)

And I’m selfish enough to want to go there again.

Still the One

Open Bible. Read His Word. Pray.

I’ve got the routine down. But this morning I’m only going through the motions.

Check my spiritual pulse. It’s as though I’m flat line_____.

No inspiration. No spark.

Need the Holy Spirit to jump start my heart.

Driving to jail for Bible study, I pray, “Lord, restore to me the joy of Thy salvation.” How do I show others Your power when I feel the lack?

Can’t trust my feelings. Hold onto the facts.

Twenty women dressed in red, with faces hard as the concrete walls. Television blares. Inmates engrossed in board games ignore me. Loathe who I am.

I wait until one adventurous soul brings her Bible and joins me at the table. And then another. We are three women gathered in His name. Take turns reading Scripture aloud because God’s word “will not return to Him empty, Without accomplishing what He desires…” (Isaiah 55:11).

One time a paralyzed man came to Jesus for healing, but first Jesus forgave the man’s sins. “Which is easier,” Jesus said, “to say to the paralytic ‘your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘arise and take up your pallet and walk?’ But in order that you may know the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins –He said to the paralytic-– ‘I say to you rise, take up your pallet, and go home’ ” (Mark 2:9-11).

And he did. More important, his sins were forgiven. Just like myself and two inmates.

His Spirit lives within us. But the goal is to let His Spirit reign.

We read, discuss, and pray. Three lit candles shining in the dark. Not knowing someone watches and waits to come to the table, drawn by the light.

“Will you pray for me?” the woman asks when the other two have left.

Like the paralytic, she wants the tangible rather than eternal. Prefers a prayer request instead of a personal relationship. Still I pray, hoping she’ll seek Jesus who rescues sinners and then answers prayers.

I leave the room. Hurry down a long hallway, listening to my heels click on the cement floor. Watch the video cameras watching me.

Metal doors snap unlock so I can open and close. One door after another until at last I’m on the outside.  I soak up the sun’s warmth as a fresh breeze brushes my face.

I feel His pleasure, the joy of His salvation.

Because Jesus is the Living God. Still healing. Still forgiving.

Telling me, “Arise.”