The Fix for Spiritual Laziness
The topic of spiritual laziness came up recently in my small group. Spiritual laziness refers to the lack of setting aside time for God. It is described in Hebrews 5:11, “We have a great deal to say about this, and it is difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand.” When we are too lazy to set aside time for God, we not only become spiritually ignorant, but unproductive as well.
What’s the solution? Rest.
Put down the phone for a minute. Close the laptop. Turn off the TV or radio. You weren’t designed to be a data server, receiving and transmitting information non-stop. Forget your list of tasks for a minute. You weren’t created by God and adopted as His child so that you could be working all the time.
Like the Sabbath, the practices I’m about to describe weren’t created for God, but for us.
Yes, each of them is a command in Scripture. Yes, we must dedicate time and energy to doing them. But if we practice them sincerely and regularly, they won’t exhaust us, they will refresh us. They do that because He is the source of our life (Acts 17:28).
Bible Study: King David exemplified a very practical pattern of meditating on God’s word day and night (Psalm 1:2). Before him, Joshua taught the same pattern (Joshua 1:8). This pattern may have had its roots in Deuteronomy 17:19, which prescribed that Israel’s king must study God’s word every day, “It is to remain with him, and he is to read from it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to observe all the words of this instruction, and to do these statutes.”
Daily Bible study is necessary for us because it cultivates a deeply respectful devotion to God within us.
Prayer: The prophet Daniel exemplified a similar pattern of praying to God. He had a regular pattern: “three times a day he got down on his knees, prayed, and gave thanks to his God” (Daniel 6:10). He shared this with David, who had the same timing for his prayers: morning, noon, and evening (Psalm 55:17). Peter also had set times when he would pray (Acts 10:9).
Daily prayer causes us to acknowledge God’s care for us and His provision of what we need.
Song: The Psalmist sings to God in the morning (Ps. 59:16), throughout the day (61:8), and even among unbelievers (57:9; 108:3). As Psalm 71:8 puts it “My mouth is full of praise and honor to you all the day long.” Why should we offer God such unabashed and constant song? The simple answer in the Psalms is this, “It is good to do it” (92:1; 147:1).
Because He is worthy of our praise, it’s good for us to sing praise to Him every day.
In my small group, we discussed the main enemy of our time with God: infotainment. Sports, local and national news, social media, and podcasts were some of our biggest distractions. I’m sure we aren’t alone.
We might be afraid that we’ll be unprepared or uninformed if we don’t keep up with those things. In reality, we become unprepared and uniformed if we don’t stay close to Him.
These examples we have seen in Scripture weren’t placed there accidentally. God wants us to know there is relief from our concerns and tasks. The world can wait. Our true rest doesn’t come from the world; it comes from Him.