right now its 1:09 in the morning, and i can’t sleep. when i can’t sleep i become restless and my mind starts to go a mile a minute. right now all my mind is focused on is my inabilities to move forward and progress my relationship with God. thats why i have called this post “stagnant”. because that is how i am feeling and how i’ve been feeling for awhile now.
lets first start off by defining the word stagnant.
- not flowing or running, as water or air.
- stale or foul from standing, as a pool of water.
- characterized by lack of development, advancement or progressive movement.
- inactive, sluggish or dull.
i believe all four of these definitions can sum up how i’ve been in relation to my relationship with God. for awhile i’ve tried to put a label on it. give it a title so it could have some substance and i could define how i’ve been feeling. before stagnant, i could only describe it as a numbness. you know its there, but you can’t feel it. when your foot is numb, you can’t walk. when your hand is numb, its difficult to hold on to something. when your relationship with God has become numb, you have difficulties holding onto it and walking forward.
i remember one time a few years back i got stung by a bee. i had been stung before as a kid but had never reacted the way i did a few years back. aside from it being painful, my foot turned about 5 different colors and became pretty swollen. and later that night, while trying to go to bed, i had hallucinations. first off i couldn’t stop shivering. i rolled myself into the tightest fetal position i could possibly make to try to stop the shivering but it was no use. the clatter of my teeth was so loud, it woke up my roommate. i was up every 10 minutes trying to use the bathroom but couldn’t go. and when i was in bed, trying to stop shivering and fall asleep, i felt as if i were strapped down to my bed and unable to move. i was hallucinating thinking i was bound to my bed. wanting to desperately jump out. physically i knew i wasn’t tied down, but my mind didn’t know the difference. it was the strangest thing i had ever experienced.
the reason i told you that is because the way i felt tied down to my bed those years ago is the same way i feel in my relationship with God. i feel tied down and unable to move. i feel numb. i’ve become stagnant. and honestly, i don’t know where it came from or when it started.
when i think about what we as Christians are called to do which is to love and to go out and tell the world of the good news, thats when the numbness sets in. its as if i become strapped down. its like i’m strapping myself down. i become scared when i think of representing my Father. there is a line in an As Cities Burn song that has been with me for years because when i first heard it, it struck a chord deep inside me and it described me perfectly. he simply sings, “now i let go of Your hand somewhere between love and what it demands of me.” and that is me.
back to the definition of stagnant:
first, when you’re not constantly flowing or running with God, you stop growing. one thing i’ve learned as a Christian over the years is this: you can’t expect to grow in Christ if you stay still. repeatedly throughout the bible, its stated that you must keep conversation through prayer. you must stay in the word. you must physically follow in the steps of Christ. if you stop, you won’t change and you’ll become stagnant.
second, when you become stagnant in your relationship with God, you become foul or stale. when i think of stale i think of bread. when bread becomes stale it either becomes moldy or it becomes hard. it becomes no good and has to be thrown away. when something becomes foul, it stinks. no one wants to go around it and it starts to attract insects. when we become stagnant with God, obviously we don’t start to grow mold on our bodies and start to smell, but our personalities, character and souls do. we no longer look like the image of Christ. our moods and personalities start to stink and no one wants to be around us. instead of being the sweet aroma of Christ, we become the foul stench of the world.
third, we become characterized by lack of development, advancement or progressive movement. we become strapped to the bed. we don’t grow. we don’t move forward. and we don’t learn anymore. we just are. as i was typing this third meaning, another As Cities Burn lyric popped into my head: “so i hear theres a whole world out there, but i’ve grown to love this bed to much to leave it. i keep hearing about this world out there. come untie me from this bed, come untie me from the wicked things i love.” if we become tied down to our beds, to our complacency in life, we lose the ability to move forward and advance in our relationship with God.
forth, we become inactive, sluggish or dull. or all three. this one is the main one for me. especially sluggish and dull. i just feel lazy when it comes to my relationship with God. i’ve become so complacent and comfortable in the life i have, i’ve lost the ability to progress. its not that i don’t want to, i’ve just been inactive for so long, i’ve become comfortable. and comfort is dangerous. being uncomfortable is scary, and that is why i get scared when i think of what it is God wants me to do. God usually doesn’t call us to do things that make us comfortable, He calls us to step out of our comfort zone.
but this isn’t uncommon. moses, one of the greatest men of the bible, was scared when God told him to go speak to pharaoh. i realize that being scared is normal and that God loves to use the ones who think they can’t be used. and i’m sure the way i feel is no different than someone else in my situation. but the point i’m trying to get across is that for awhile now i feel stagnant in my relationship with God. its not something i want. i want to look forward to picking up my bible and spending time in Gods word. i want to enjoy praying and spending time with God. i want to be able to do Gods work without second guessing myself and without the fear the holds me back. but i don’t. i just curl up in the tightest fetal position i can and wait for the fear to go away.
its the fear thats keeping me tied down. the other day i posted on twitter “the devil is only as strong as the fear he creates and the fear you allow him to create.” each day i give into the fear, i weaken myself and allow the devil to become stronger. the way i’ve been feeling is incredibly difficult to explain and i’m not sure if what i’ve said has painted an accurate picture of where i am. but in a nutshell, i feel tied down and unable to move. i try my hardest to break whats holding me down and i constantly squirm, but i soon realize i’m not strong enough and give up. i pray to God to help, but my prayers are laced with doubt. i’m tired. physically, emotionally and mostly spiritually. i’ve become stagnant. i’ve become complacent. i’m in desperate need of change that only God can bring.
i didn’t write this in search of pity. i just felt i needed to write so i did. if you have read this, then i’d ask if you wouldn’t mind praying for me. because like i said, i’m tired and i can’t go on running in the same spot. thank you.