7 Ways out of a Spiritual Slump

No offense to all you soccer and football moms out there, but baseball is where it’s at. We’re a baseball lovin’ family.  Always have been, always will be. (Go Royals!)

While I don’t know everything there is to know about it, and definitely can’t play it, I do know one thing. Every player, no matter how outstanding, will get in a slump.  It’s inevitable.

Why? Because even though they’re talented, and get paid exorbitant stacks of cash for what they do, they are still human, with the potential to fall into a slump.

And so are you.

The stakes are higher and the reward is greater. Souls are hanging in the balance, and the ministry we have has eternal consequences. Being an ambassador for Christ and minister of reconciliation is a weighty role.

Sometimes the pressure can stifle our creativity and send us into a spiritual slump.  If you find yourself in one right now, here are 7 ways to step out of it.

7 WAYS OUT OF A SPIRITUAL SLUMP

  1. Run to the Lord in prayer. Colossians 4:2~ Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Prayer is a given in every situation in life, but oftentimes we overlook this most basic component of our faith.  We must look to the Lord for help out of the spiritual slump.  We are powerless without prayer!
  2. Repent and purify your heart. Have you every felt like your prayers are just words bouncing off the ceiling, or falling on deaf ears?  This might be an indication of sin in your life that’s hindering your fellowship with Christ.  Confess it, forsake it, and be reconciled to Jesus.  Proverbs 28:13~ He that covereth is sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.  A great verse to commit to memory is 1John 1:9~ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.   When we hold onto unconfessed sin we are pushing away God’s forgiveness, cleansing, and mercy.
  3. Rework your priorities. God, Spouse, Children, Church, Lost world, and so on. That is the biblical priority list for every Christian woman.  If you’re single with no kids, you are free to “attend upon the Lord without distraction”.(1Cor.7:32-35) Maybe ministry to other women has subtly but steadily slid your ministry to your spouse and children down the line. Stop and examine where you spend the most time, what has your attention? Make the changes necessary to get your priorities aligned with the word and will of God.
  4. Renew your perspective. Sometimes we get in a slump because like athletes, we can get too focused on the numbers and results. We can get consumed by our following on social media. For a refresher on the proper perspective we should have, read this.
  5. Release the pressure. After using a pressure cooker to process jars of food, you take the weight off and release the steam to unlock the lid and get to the goods. When it feels like the weight of your ministry has you locked down, it’s time to let off some steam! Some of us need to start with lifting the weight of unrealistic expectations, and the pressure to perform at a certain level. As long as God is pleased with your ministry, that’s all that matters! Go at his pace and don’t try to compete with anyone else. Give yourself permission to take a break. Go for a walk or to the gym, take a hot bath, or visit with a friend. Take your bible and journal and find a cozy new place to get away with Jesus.
  6. Remember the point. Don’t ever forget that your ministry came from God, is through him, and for him. He gifted and called you, equips and enables you to do what you do for his glory and not your own. Ultimately it’s not about you at all. It’s all about Jesus.  Hold all things loosely, knowing that he can take it just as surely as he gave it. (Job 1:21)
  7. Return to praise. Nothing gets me out of a slump quicker than cranking up the praise music! Praise him for his goodness and grace, his provision and power, and his forgiveness and faithfulness. Let him restore unto you the joy of your salvation as you rejoice in his glorious name.

Whether you’re a writer whose lost the words, or a mama struggling to keep her head above water, the solution’s the same. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. 

I hope these 7 steps are a blessing to you, and that God lifts you out of the slump you’re in as you delight in him today.

~Hebrews 12:1-2~ Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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“I’m a Fool!” Wisdom from Proverbs

Wisdom from the Proverbs

I distinctly remember the shame I felt when the realization struck me, and I had to honestly and humbly admit- I’m a fool. To spill the beans on this is contrary to my natural tendency to conceal and deal privately with the Lord on the issues of my heart.  But in order to help women to walk in the wisdom of God’s word daily, I have to divulge how I obtained wisdom in various areas of my life.

It was early on in my walk with Jesus.  By my standards I was a great wife. I cooked, cleaned, and cared for my family.  Yet I was harboring bitterness and unforgiveness. Carrying the baggage of the past around like a ton of bricks, constantly pointing out my husband’s flaws, and nagging him to be a Christ-like husband and father.  

Without a sober mind or a submissive will, I dug in my heels and set myself in array against my husband as public enemy number one.

I was so self-deceived.

Painful as it was, allowing the Lord to reveal my true character according to his word was necessary to my spiritual maturity, and the strength of my marriage.  

The Lord had placed a deep desire within me to be a godly woman, but I had no idea what that meant, so I began to study it out.  Popping off the page were the role and responsibilities of a wife in Ephesians 5 and Titus 2, and the character and conduct of the Virtuous Woman in Proverbs 31.  God started to highlight key verses contrasting the wise and the foolish, unveiling a godly woman as a wise woman.

~Proverbs 2:6~ For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

The result of that time mining the scriptures was a broken and contrite heart, and my pride was crushed to the point of repentance.

The Wise Woman:

Virtuous~ Proverbs 31:10-31.  Her virtue originates from her fear of the Lord, and it’s the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 1:7) It’s her relationship with God that fills her up and gives her the strength, honor, and ability to minister so well.  The verses that really convicted me were 11-12~ The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.  She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.  Consumed with myself, I was definitely not loving my husband well, or doing him good. How about you?

  • Can you say that you do your husband good and not evil? 
  • Would your husband agree?

EdifyingProverbs 14:1~ Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.  Piece by piece my marriage and family was being further destroyed by my foolish behavior. Instead of pointing out the things my husband was doing well, and being thankful, I focused on the things that he didn’t do.  I wasn’t shy about voicing my discontentment.  My thinking was that if I didn’t tell him, how would he know, and how would anything change? 

What the Lord taught me was that all I really needed to do was pray, and leave my husband in God’s hands.  I started reading The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O’Martian, and my mindset toward him began to change.  The more you pray for someone the more you love them, and this book definitely helped me to love my husband better and build my house.  It’s a must read!

  • Do you regularly pray for your husband?

The Foolish Woman:

Clamorous~ Proverbs 9:13~ A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.  Ouch.  I had to admit that I was a trying and tumultuous woman, and I didn’t know it all.  That one hurt because I like to know what I’m talking about.  I like to be right, and honestly, before I studied this all out I was oblivious to my foolishness and thought I was right.  I justified my attitude and actions based on my husband’s behavior.  

  • Does drama seem to follow you wherever you go?
  • Are you the kind of woman who’s always in an uproar about one thing or another?
  • Have you decided that you’ll be a virtuous wife when he starts being a godly husband?

Contentious~ Proverbs 21:9~ It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. 19~It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.  Proverbs 25:24~ It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.  Lack of trust in his leadership, and my need for control made me an angry and argumentative woman. The Lord showed me that I was really lacking faith in His ability to lead our family, take care of our every need, and mold both of us into Christ-like servants.  It was a heart problem and a faith issue.

Continual DroppingProverbs 19:13~ A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.  Proverbs 27:15-16~ A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.  Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.   The incessant nagging grated on my husband’s nerves like a leaky roof dripping into a bucket below. It never accomplished a thing.  It just provoked his pride and made him defiant to do anything I asked.  

  • Do you have a control problem?
  • Are you angry and argumentative?
  • Do you nag your husband? 

~Proverbs 16:32~ He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Faced with the reality of my sinful condition I confessed, repented, and purposed to love my husband biblically- with a sober mind and submissive spirit, allowing him to lead our family, and cultivating love and peace in his heart and our home.

My husband is now a godly man who loves Jesus, and preaching God’s word.  He’s faithful, he’s a family man, he’s a really hard worker, and he loves me like Jesus does.  He’s got his role and responsibilities down, and has for several years.  He wasn’t changed by my nagging.

It was the power of the Holy Spirit, through the word of God, spending time with godly men, and going to marriage retreats together that transformed him.  I have the husband I prayed for.  And all glory goes to God alone!

While I don’t see “I’m a fool!” on the bios of any women these days, and I doubt it’ll make it on a t-shirt, the truth is written on their heart, and worn in their attitude and actions.

~Proverbs 12:4~ A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

A crown or a cancer… you choose.