Spiritual Neuropathy

1 John 4:10 This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the payment for our sins.

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If you know anyone who has diabetes you may be familiar with Peripheral Neuropathy.  Oxford Dictionary defines neuropathy as disease or dysfunction of one or more peripheral nerves, typically causing numbness or weakness. Frequently when patients suffer from diabetes, neuropathy is one of the early signs of the disease’s presence.  The patient can lose feeling or experience a tingling sensation as nerve damage grows and spreads; and, left unattended, amputation may prove to be the only solution.  The condition is usually at its worst in patients who haven’t acknowledged the seriousness of their condition and modified their diet.

My mother is a diabetic and she has this in her feet.  She is a true born and bred southern girl and walks around bare foot all the time.  Several times, when visiting with her,  I saw bloody foot prints on her floor. After a few questions, I realized that mom had cut her foot. The neuropathy in her feet had caused them to become numb and she did not feel the pain from the cut on the bottom of her foot.  She was completely unaware that her feet had been cut and she was tracking blood across the kitchen floor.

I think many of us are dealing with neuropathy on a spiritual level.  We have become numb to God and the things of God.  It came on gradually, we didn’t even notice it, until one day we SAW signs of our wounds.  Maybe you no longer experience joy or contentment that Christ promises.  Maybe you are unhappy, frustrated, overworked, and harried.  God promised that His yoke was easy and His burden was light but you are not feeling it right now. Some of you may be angry, bitter or depressed and some of you are living a double life, Christian at church and full blown sinner outside of it.  You don’t even know who you are anymore.

What happened?  You never intended to become this way.  It seemed like one day you were worshiping Jesus, raising your hands at church, crying when you prayed and now you are numb.  Emotionless.  Full blown Spiritual neuropathy.

Fortunately, while the physical reality of peripheral neuropathy is often a chronic malady that may never go away completely, there is a definite cure for the spiritual version.  Jesus comforted his disciples before going to the cross by saying, “When the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:26-27)

The problem with spiritual numbness is that it isn’t honest. We have no room in our hearts for the One we say we love most. If Christ is better than anything the world has to offer, why do our lives tell a different story?

In this lifetime, we will never be able to stop having pain, or trouble, becoming tired or weary or simply just sad or depressed at some point. We need to constantly assess our passions and desires, not to squash them, but to strengthen and realign them with God’s desires.

In communing with Christ, we move toward becoming our most authentic self, namely, dead to sin and alive to God. So let me encourage you to make just one change that will promote your spiritual health. If you are spiritually alive in Christ, then live. Reshuffle your priorities and become who you were meant to be. Maybe you are letting life run you and your schedule and not the things of God or God himself. The key to overcoming spiritual numbness is to “fill up” with the Holy Spirit.

Overcoming feelings of spiritual numbness is often not a mental or academic exercise; rather, we need the personal touch of another born-again believer. Here is where the church comes in, with brothers and sisters everywhere, Bible study and, of course, worship services and the preaching of God’s Word we can begin to heal, regain feeling.

You can begin to heal today by, sincerely desiring to be directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit, Confessing your sins and thanking God that He has forgiven all of your sins whether past, present, or future, presenting every area of your life to God for His gracious control, by faith claiming the fullness of the Holy Spirit according to His commandment in Ephesians 5:18 and His promise in 1 John 5:14–15.  God loves you, even when you may not feel like you love him.  1 John 4:10 This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the payment for our sins.

 

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