Summary: Stagnant means sluggish, motionless and inactive. This might be an accurate description of some people’s Christian walk. They’re not living; they’re simply existing. They’re not doing anything with the new life that God gave them. If that describes any of
ARE YOU STAGNANT?
INTRODUCTION: Stagnant means sluggish, motionless and inactive. This might be an accurate description of some people’s Christian walk. Line in a movie: “I just want to live mindlessly from day to day.” Some people are doing just that. They’re not living; they’re simply existing. They’re not engaging; they’re not bettering themselves or anyone else around them. They’re not doing anything with the new life that God gave them. If that describes any of us here today we need to move beyond stagnation and into stimulation.
1) What causes stagnation?
• Laziness (I don’t want to do it). We have been conditioned to be lazy these days. All the modern conveniences that make our life easier have also afforded us the opportunity to develop laziness. We don’t have to get up to change the channel anymore. We get to stay in our La-Z-Boy recliners and push a button. Everything’s automatic and we don’t have to exert ourselves as much anymore, giving us more time to relax and take it easy. All of this can make it easier to slip into stagnation. Mind you, there’s a difference between being tired and being lazy. We need to have balance in our life. We need to take time and rest. But we can also use it as an excuse and get too comfortable, spending more time resting than we should. Someone once said, “The person that can distinguish between being tired and being lazy will go far.” Laziness causes us to become stagnate.
• Apathy (I don’t care to do it). When I’m lazy I can care about something but not put forth the effort to get it done; it’s not a priority. When I’m apathetic, I could care less whether something gets done or not; it’s not important. Nothing inspires me; I’m not enthusiastic about the things of the Spirit. There’s no excitement, there’s no passion. I’m not affected by my lack of motivation to get up and do something. I’m indifferent, complacent; I’m slothful. Apathy causes stagnation.
• Doubt (I can’t do it). We can become stagnant through being in the grip of defeatism. We become entangled in the lies of Satan and we are too afraid to try; lest we fail. We don’t dare venture out of our comfort zone because we’re haunted by the times we’ve tried and failed. It’s best to give up trying to accomplish anything for God since I’m just doomed to fail anyway. When we fall into the trap of debilitating doubt we’ve fallen into the trap of stagnation.
• Sin. 1st Cor. 3:1-3. When we’re giving ourselves over to sin, we stunt our spiritual growth. When we are still worldly we prohibit our progression. Paul had set up the Corinthian church a few years prior to this. But, unfortunately, they had not progressed as they should have. They were stuck in the mud of sin. One of the ways we can tell if we’re in stagnation mode is when we’re comfortable with the sin in our life. When sin starts to bother us less and less we’re in trouble. Instead of feeling conviction we feel apathy. The progression of sin stagnates our life.