Spiritual Sluggishness

by Nancy Kay Grace

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 NIV

The heavy air and sweltering heat felt oppressive. When I stepped outside from the air-conditioned house, the summer heat and humidity fogged my glasses, blurring my vision. The heaviness of water vapor in the air even made it hard to breathe.

Temperatures over ninety degrees mixed with high humidity make us sluggish, quickly draining our energy since our bodies have to work harder to cool us down. Sweat does not evaporate when the air is saturated with moisture. As a result, we feel sticky and uncomfortable.

I once experienced spiritual mugginess from carrying a heart burden. I yearned for closeness to the Lord but felt distant from him.

Just as humidity affects us physically, sluggishness in our spirits affect our walk with the Lord. It drains our joy. Conflict, worry, unforgiveness, and bitterness sap our spirits. We feel sticky and uncomfortable in our relationships with others. We also become listless and stagnant in seeking the Lord.

How can we overcome the uncomfortable condition of spiritual sluggishness in our hearts? We need the fresh wind of the Lord to blow upon us.

Looking upward to God changes our perspective. Psalm 51:12 says, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (NIV). By looking up, we remember God’s great mercy and unfailing love for us, and that He knows the condition of our hearts, yet still loves us despite our waywardness.

Then, by looking inward, we can confess the sin that blurs our spiritual perception. The palmist David prayed, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1-2 NIV). God works to cleanse and change our heart as we become open to receive the grace of forgiveness.

Oh, how we need God’s forgiving love and grace! When we seek God through confession, He exchanges refreshing peace for our sticky spiritual sluggishness. God clears our vision so we can see our next steps to Him.

God re-energized my spirit after I looked upward and inward. His forgiveness brought a new perspective to my situation. My spirit felt lighter and joyful.

Do you struggle with spiritual sluggishness? Seek the Lord and embrace His forgiving love. He will once again restore the joy of salvation.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. For relaxation, Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at www.nancykaygrace.com.

Join the conversation: How have you overcome spiritual sluggishness?


One thought on “Spiritual Sluggishness

  1. This is a great word to remember, Nancy! It is easy to get “stuck” and you give the secret for moving ahead in our spiritual walk. Thanks for this blessing, Fran


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