Summary: We all get in spiritual "slumps" where our relationship with God is suffering. What do we do to get out of the slump?
What To Do When You Are in a Slump
October 12, 2001
New Community Church
Intro: My father in law was telling me about a situation that happened to him a couple of weeks ago. He is a college professor and he gave out an assignment to his students. He told the students the assignment could be completed handwritten, with a typewriter or with the computer. After class one of his students came up to him and said, “I will be completing this assignment on my computer because I have no idea what a typewriter is!” He was serious as sin. This student is 19 years old and had never seen a typewriter. Things aren’t like they used to be huh?
Transition: You might be here tonight and your relationship with God isn’t what it used to be. Maybe you are in a slump.
What is a slump? It is a struggle. Things are not going right in your spiritual walk. Maybe you have lost your edge and you don’t know what is going on.
So, what are some indications that you might be in a spiritual slump? For you baseball fans, what is some signs that a batter might be in a slump? (Batting average goes down. Strike out a lot.) Here are the indications you might be in a spiritual slump:
A. No delight in God.
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Delighting in God is a commandment. I’m not saying you don’t love God but the delight is no longer there. Maybe you haven’t been reminding yourself of his faithfulness and his love and his greatness. You no longer stand in awe of Him.
Psalm 1 gives us some other indications that you might be in a spiritual slump:
B. No delight in God’s word
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:2
This means there is no love or concern for how it affects your life. It doesn’t have the excitement it once had in your life. Maybe you feel like you haven’t heard from God in a long time.
C. No passion and fruitfulness in ministry
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not whither. Whatever he does prospers.” VS. 3
Maybe you feel like you are making no contribution to the team. Maybe you are tired. There is no fruitfulness in your ministry. Maybe you feel like God is not blessing the work of your hands. You are tempted to sit on the sidelines.
It’s important to realize at this point that spiritual slumps happen to the best of us. Just like every professional athlete at one time or another has a tough season. You think about guys like Barry Bonds, Shaquille Oneal, Michael Jordan. Those guys struggled at one time or another.
So what do you do when you are in a spiritual slump?
1). Get some instruction from the Coach.
This requires some humility on our part because we must come to a point where we are willing to ask for help—meaning we don’t have it together.
“Search me O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23
A player goes to his coach for instructions. You’ve got to ask him what’s going on. Maybe there is a specific sin you need to confess and get right. What adjustments do you need to make? Maybe what God is trying to tell you is that you are trying to hard. Maybe what you need to do is stop trying and stop trusting in Him.
Transition: Another thing we need to do when we are in a slump is rely on your teammates.
2). Receive encouragement from our teammates.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
This is one of the many times in scripture where the “one another” is used. Let your church family love and encourage you. Be transparent with those close to you in the church family. Let them encourage you in this time. Part of the reason why we are in this together is so we can encourage one another. Are you willing to be an encourager? God might be calling some of you to be encouragers right now to hold people up. Be obedient to that.