Summary: Signs your spiritual life is headed in the wrong direction
4, August 2002
Dakota Community Church
Leading Indicators of Spiritual Decline
When there is economic decline, governments pretend all is well.
When there is spiritual decline, Christians pretend all is well.
Sometimes you know but other don’t and sometimes others know and you have deceived yourself.
With the economy:
- Rising unemployment.
- Lower consumer spending.
- Higher inflation rate.
- Declining dollar value
Top Five Spiritual Indicators:
1. RISING DOUBTS.
- Two major fronts.
a. God and Christianity.
Most people doubt at times. It is important not to allow it to become habit.
13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry
14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.
15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,
18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in."
20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.
21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
Doubt feeds on itself like faith in reverse:
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
Before the faith giants start nodding and finger pointing:
22 Be merciful to those who doubt;
What do you do about it? – Faith comes by hearing!
b. Self. – Doubting yourself and your ability to fulfill the call of God.
Question: Has anyone here ever faced this problem?
Look at the good company you are in:
Moses – Exodus 4:10-13
10 Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."
11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
13 But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."
Gideon – Judges 6:15
15 "But Lord,  " Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."
Jeremiah – Jeremiah 1:5-7
4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew  you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
6 "Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."
7 But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, `I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.
Peter – Luke 5:8
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!"
When you start putting off dealing with things that need to be dealt with.
14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.