Is Your Heart Spiritually Numb?


Do you feel that spiritual numbness is a valid alternative to a vibrant, transforming relationship with God? How can you remember His magnetic glory?

Our vacation hadn't gone as planned, and I was frustrated. Between some unexpected health trouble and a counseling emergency that would break my heart in two, I felt tired and sad. So I went to the Lord in prayer and read His Word, and the Holy Spirit worked on me. As I continued in prayer, a refreshing breeze awakened my numbed senses, and the eyes of my heart were opened (Eph. 1:18). My desires strengthened and aligned with His, and I was floored again by the majesty of God.

How did I forget His magnetic glory?

This glimpse of glory reminds me of Ephesians 2:4–5: "But God . . . even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved."

  • Why are we content to go about life numb to spiritual realities?
  • Do we forget—or simply not believe—that communion with God is life changing?
  • Do we feel that spiritual numbness is a valid alternative to a vibrant transforming relationship with God?

Weights That Ensnare

As I think about my numb state, I can't help thinking of those words in Hebrews, "Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."

These "weights" may not be sins, but they impede our spiritual growth. They ensnare us with their innocuous appearance and numb us to the majesty of God. Entertainment, food, fitness, novels, and shopping—among other things—could be called "weights." They are innocent in moderation, even good, but easily become excessive in their hold on us. They simultaneously lift our spirits and numb our spiritual sensitivities. When we overindulge regularly, they dominate our hearts and leave us in a half-baked, complacent, and numb spiritual state.

Priorities That Matter

While I don't think running to a monastery is the answer, I am compelled to put in place some new habits that will sharpen my vision and help me see God clearer.

Trials can be a blessing in disguise when they bring us to God, but we don't need a disaster to begin removing obstacles to our spiritual health. We need God's grace and some thoughtful planning. Too often, we use the excuse that we are "too busy," but what we really mean is that it is "not a priority." We forget that spiritual disciplines are not an end in themselves. They are a means to an end, namely, communion with God. And sometimes we need to trim down—even good priorities—to make time for better ones.

Promoting Spiritual Health

The problem with spiritual numbness is that it isn't honest. We have no room in our hearts for the One we say we love most. If Christ is better than anything the world has to offer, why do our lives tell a different story?

In this lifetime, we will never be able to stop turning blessings into idols. We need to constantly assess our passions and desires, not to squash them, but to strengthen and realign them with God's desires.

In communing with Christ, we move toward becoming our most authentic self, namely, "dead to sin and alive to God" (Rom. 6:11). So let me encourage you to make just one change that will promote your spiritual health. If you are spiritually alive in Christ, then live. Reshuffle your priorities and become who you were meant to be.

What are the "weights" holding you back from communion with God? What one change will you make to invest in your spiritual health?

By Christel Humfrey

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