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Summary: Jesus asks five "perspective questions" that can assist us in overcoming spiritual inertia.

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OVERCOMING THE “SPIRITUAL BLAHS”

Mark 8:14-21

Mk 8:14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat.

Mk 8:15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

Mk 8:16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”

Mk 8:17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?

Mk 8:18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?

Mk 8:19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied.

Mk 8:20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.”

Mk 8:21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

INTRODUCTION

From time to time God’s people need a “spiritual zest” check-up. It has always been the case. That is why God gave festivals in the Old Testament – they were times to renew one’s self and remember His goodness.

In the church age this is often done through revivals and calls to spiritual service.

Maybe today is a good day for us to take a check-up and see if we are victims of spiritual inertia – the “spiritual blahs” so to speak.

The disciples found themselves in such a place. It is hard to believe since they were in Christ’s presence everyday but, none-the-less, they found themselves in a state of dullness.

But we don’t want to be too hard on them since we, too, are in the presence of the living God each day … he dwells within the believer.

Like the disciples, we also have all the resources we need to never fall prey to spiritual lethargy … but alas … we do.

Maybe the exchange Jesus had with his disciples will help charge your batteries.

Jesus asks five perspective questions that will help us with the “spiritual blahs.”

1. DO YOU STILL NOT SEE OR UNDERSTAND?

• When you find yourself in the doldrums or living like the disciples were … merely operating at a superficial level and responding to the immediate stimuli in front of them … you may want to stop and meditate on the significance of this question for a while.

• Stop and think about where you are, about what is happening to you and why it is happening.

• Analyze it.

• Read what the Bible has to say about it.

• Study God’s revelation to you.

• Use your mind --- chances are that it will exhilarate you and you will find yourself once again sensing the fellowship and the freedom that comes from God.

2. ARE YOUR HEARTS HARDENED?

• This is a hard question for us to face. But it is essential if we are to have the communion with God that we and He desires.

• Beware of (and be aware of) the development of a hard heart.

• The heart is the center of moral, ethical, and religious life.

• It can be soft (responsive to God’s will)

• It can be hard (determined to pursue its own inclinations) … even to the point of being petrified (Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26)

• It is the responsibility of each saint to monitor and guard the heart … to keep it spiritually maintained.

• The Bible says: Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23, KJV)

• Look at the condition of your heart. Take a serious look.

• Are you dull inside or do you still respond positively to the truth?

• If the heart does not respond to what the mind has understood, then it is because you have not really believed it. You may have recognized mentally that it is true, but you have not acted on it. You do not really believe God is going to do what He says.

• God’s truth always grips us and moves us when we believe it.

• If we are not challenged and encouraged, if we do not feel a response of joy, it is because the mind has grasped it but the heart has not. So we must pray that the eyes of the heart might be enlightened.

• How do you discern if you have a hard heart?

• Only God can search a heart properly. It is deceitful and its condition can easily be rationalized by us.

o The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV)

• That is why the Psalmist requested God’s help.

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