Sermons

Summary: We all have times in life when we have had a spiritual high. Invariably the high is followed by challenges that lead to frustration and frustration that leads to distraction. This distraction can lead us away from serving God in full strength. That is the definition of Post-Spiritual High Syndrome.

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Jexit - Judah Comes Home

Post Spiritual High Syndrome

Ezra 4:1-5

In your life, most of us, maybe not all of us, have gone through this experience is what I call the Post-Spiritual-High-Syndrome.

Ok … so this isn’t a technical description … but it is a legitimate experience

It happened to Elijah

In 1 Kings 18 in the strength of the Lord he takes on, and defeats, 950 prophets who were worshipping false gods. In a competition to see which God would answer the call to send down fire from fire from heaven and it burns a up a sacrifice.

If you don’t know the story read it later - 1 Kings 18.

All morning the 950 prophets call on the name of their “gods” … with no answer.

The Elijah gets them to pour water seven times over the alter. This is what happens.

36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”

1 Kings 18:36-39

Clearly what Elijah has just gone through would cause a spiritual high.

Then in the very next chapter Elijah flees after being threatened by Jezebel - one woman!

He is afraid of her.

Which says a lot about the type of person Jezebel was.

Elijah flees to the desert and prays “I have had enough Lord. Take my life. I am no better than my ancestors”. Later he says to the Lord I am the only faithful one left.

That there. That is Post-Spiritual-High-Syndrome.

Huge spiritual high

Followed by going through a spiritual low.

It happens a little bit to Peter

Peter is walking on the water out to Jesus on a windy night.

It is all going well … “I’m walking on the water”.

Then he feels the wind … just the wind … and all of the sudden he is panicking and distracted from his focus on Jesus.

Huge spiritual high

Followed by going through a spiritual low.

Post-Spiritual-High-Syndrome

We have these times. Some of us more regularly than others. Where we go through a time in our lives in our spiritual life when we have all these highs,

that draws us closer to God.

or makes us feel spiritual strong and secure.

perhaps we have a real sense of peace and God’s presence.

or we are really aware that God has been at work and His favour is on us.

days when our devotional life with the Lord is going so well

The spiritual high.

But then a day, or a week, or a month, or six months later. Well it all has changed.

Old sinful habits come back.

Temptations that we thought we had beaten get us again.

We feel distant … far … not close … to God.

Our spiritual life feels like a bit of a chore … or certainly it doesn’t seem to be as effective as it once was.

Do you understand the experience I am talking about?

That’s what I would call Post-Spiritual-High-Syndrome.

And it is a Syndrome that the returning exiles went through.

They are leaving the place of exile.

They are returning home.

God has moved the nations to make this possible.

God has named his people and called them for Himself for a very special purpose.

So they are on a spiritual high aren’t they.

After 70 years in exile they are home. They have even had representatives from the important families give a free-will offer for the building of the temple. It is an exciting time.

Let’s read about it in Ezra 3

Ezra 3:1-3

1 When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, the people assembled together as one in Jerusalem. 2 Then Joshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. 3 Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices.

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