Intro: years ago in Tallassee Alabama I went with the men of the church to the train tracks to unload a box car of lumber for the new church building. When I got home I was physically drained, I fell into bed that night. We all have known times of physical exhaustion. In the spiritual realm there are also things that can drain us of our spiritual vitality. Tonight, I would like to look at some spiritual drainers, and give some keys to winning in our spiritual walk with Christ.
Background: David had hit the spiritual wall, he was totally drained in his spiritual man. He had come to the place where he had lost his joy, lost his zeal, and faith was at an all time low. Every Christian must guard against spiritual drains that sap us of all our spiritual energy. Tonight we will look at a few of the major drainers we must all guard against in life.
· Negative influence or negativity—Job 16:2—miserable comforters—we see one drainer in the life of Job and that was he was surrounded by negative influence. Instead of receiving spiritual encouragement, he was bombarded with a spirit of negativity from his friends. You must guard your life against people that will bring you down instead of lift you up. Choose those who will speak into your life carefully. Don’t align your life with anyone that will continually pour a negative report into your spirit. Just as we try to guard our children from negative influences in their lives, we must with the same intensity guard our spirit man from spiritual drainers.
· Unrealistic expectations—Luke 10:41- you are careful and troubled about many things—Jesus is not validating people who want to worship and not work, but something about the way in which Martha was operating in her spirit was discerned by Jesus. If you want to live spiritually drained; place high expectations on others and become hurt, offended and bitter as they continually let you down. People are bad about not meeting our expectations of them, so the more you want people to do what you want them to do, the less they will do it.
· Unfulfilling accomplishment—Ecclesiastes 2:18—yea, I hated all the labor I had taken under the sun. Probably one of the biggest drains in the lives of so many is the more they do the less fulfilled they are in the doing. I have seen people who try to throw themselves into a million and one things, only to discover they are never satisfied no matter how much they do. Solomon says it is all vanity and chasing after the wind. If your first love isn’t in Christ, nothing else you accomplish will satisfy your soul.
· Guilt and Condemnation-Romans 8:1—there is now therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. Another spiritual drainer is to carry yesterday into tomorrow. If you visit your closet to check on skeletons you have there, you will never move to the place God is calling you. I see so many who can forgive anyone for anything, but can never forgive themselves. Carrying these weights of past sins, faults and failures will lead to a life of discouragement, defeat and depression.
· Worldly influence—Romans 12:2—one of the biggest drainers to our spiritual life is worldly influences. Everyday you must allow God’s Word to renew your mind so that you will not conform to the standards and models that the world places before each of us. Every day the world will try to fit you into a mold, so you must place your life under the influence of God so that you will be transformed in your mind.
· Physical, Mental, Emotional Fatigue—I Corinthians 6:19—know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you.
One of the biggest drainers to our spirit man is in the realm of our emotions. Our spiritual outlook many times is a by-product of our physical, mental and emotional well being. If you don’t take care of
Your temple, then you will not be able to operate at full throttle in your spirit man. Moses—overextension of duties and roles. Exodus 18:13-18 you can’t be good to anyone else if you first aren’t good to yourself.
· Worry, Fear, Despair—Matthew 6:34—take no thought for the things of tomorrow—for tomorrow shall take care of itself. (paraphrase) This is one of the greatest spiritual drainers of all, crossing bridges before you get to them. They say when the stock market crashed years ago that sent our nation into the great depression, many people leaped from tall buildings to their deaths because of despair. Jesus gave us this wonderful teaching, if God can take care of the world, God surely can take care of you.
· Unresolved conflict—Matthew 5:25—be agreeable with people, not continually getting embroiled in battles with others. Jesus said, that if you stir things up, those you are in conflict with will work to destroy you.
Ephesians 4:26-don’t let the sun go down on your wrath—don’t take anger to bed with you.
James says: v.19-20 be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to get angry, for the anger of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
· Disconnectedness—Hebrews 10:25—not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together. One of the biggest spiritual drainers is an isolated or independent spirit. When we go our own way, do our own thing, we will fall into error, we will lose our spiritual edge, and we will lack accountability. You and Jesus don’t need your own thing going. We need each other in the body of Christ. We need to join with others to be mutually built up in the most holy faith.
· Close: Galatians 6:9 tells us not to be weary in well doing, for we shall reap if we faint not. Here is the good news, if you will not give up, and you will not give in, you will receive a reward for your work in the Lord.
Ill) years ago I met with Sister Clarke in Tallassee who had gone through many difficult things in her family, with her health, and some problems in the church. But she was faithful till the end. I asked her how she had made it through so much, and with a smile she said, I’ve come too far to turn back now. No matter how tired you are, no matter how drained you feel at times, just remember, you are one step closer than ever before…