I’ve been doing a lot of walking now that the weather is warmer. As a result, my foot started to hurt. I wasn’t sure what to do about the problem and felt like I didn’t have time to deal with it. I even tried switching to new shoes, but nothing helped. So, I decided to ignore the issue and keep walking.
Not long ago, I went for another walk and was thrilled. My foot didn’t hurt anymore. I felt way better and was able to walk with confidence.
This may seem like a happy ending to a somewhat trivial story. Maybe it is a testament to my endurance and faith to be able to press through something difficult and still accomplish what I needed to in the end. That sounds great, but that’s definitely not it.
When I go walking now, I don’t feel anything, but when I look at my feet with a critical eye, I see that the callous is still there. Just because I stopped feeling it doesn’t mean the issue went away. My foot stopped hurting because my callous grew harder.
Do you have any areas of your heart that have grown dull? Have you stopped hearing the Holy Spirit speak to you about a particular sin, or just in general? Just because you don’t hear or feel conviction anymore doesn’t mean that the problem is no longer there. Actually, it’s probably gotten worse.
I haven’t been spending time with the Lord like before. There used to be times when I would rush home and go straight to my room to pray and worship. I used to want to dance before the Lord and never thought of getting up early as a chore. I used to listen to Christian music all the time so that my heart would be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Lately, I haven’t felt that same desire. At first, it bothered me, but lately, I’ve been feeling very indifferent about it. “I live a busy life,” I say to myself. “I don’t have the time or inclination to do the things I did before.” In other words, I have backslidden.
- Relapse into bad habits, sinful behaviour or undesirable activities (Dictionary.com)
- To start doing something bad after you have stopped it (Merriam Webster)
Are there any areas of your heart that have become calloused? Maybe you feel fine, but is that because your past issues have been dealt with or have you ignored them for so long that the pain has simply been repressed?
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world (James 4:8, NLT)
Let’s take time to really look at our lives. We may not feel as though anything is misaligned, but let’s ask the Holy Spirit to shed light on the different areas of our soul and to bring to mind issues that need to be addressed.
The beauty of the Lord is that He loves us enough to bring these things to our attention. Even if we don’t feel the distance, He does. He longs for deeper communion and fellowship with us even when we don’t want it from him.