Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Settling for Stagnant



Like many of my age, I grew up with the King James Bible. Even now, it's the easiest version for me to memorize. The language, however, occasionally stumps me. 

My most recent "stumping" came from a passage in Zephaniah, in which he refers to men who are "settled on their lees". The NASB translated the word as "stagnant in spirit." 

From the original language, the word means to be "congealed", "thickened" or "curdled", rather than fluid and flowing. 

Think for a moment about things that are stagnant or curdled. Muddy swamps. Spoiled milk. Clotted blood. No movement. No activity.

Now read Zephaniah's words: 


And it will come about at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
And I will punish the men who are stagnant in spirit, who say in their hearts, 
'The Lord will not do good or evil.'" Zephaniah 1:12 nasb

God will intentionally search until He finds those who are so stagnant in their faith that they have become no better than a muddy swamp or spoiled milk. They have lost the fervor of their love for God and no longer find Him pertinent. 

They think He will not move. 

They assume God will do nothing in response to their sin. Nothing in response to their prayers. Nothing in response to any repentance they might offer.

Does that sound familiar? 

I fear that the church in this country is filled with people who struggle with stagnant spirits. People who have seen the routine of church attendance without power for so long that they no longer believe more is possible.

Being stagnant in spirit, however, is a choice we make. It comes as a result of prayerlessness, faithlessness, and sinfulness, and carries a terrible price. Zephaniah describes the failure of vineyards, the desolation of homes, the punishment of God.

We cannot bear fruit when we allow our spirits to stagnate, but there is a solution. 

When we repent and turn back to our Lord, He floods us with living water that leads to refreshment and a return of the joy of our salvation. We can, once again, be fruitful and multiply.

Today, let's take a look at our own hearts. Are we becoming stagnant in spirit? Have we begun to doubt that God can or will move? 

God is still on His throne, so let's stop settling for stagnant and get rid of the sludge. 

Let's open our Bibles, kneel before our Lord, and ask for an infusion of Living Water. Let's allow Him to restore our hearts and open our eyes to His workings all around us. 

"As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God. Psalm 42:1-2a
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photo courtesy of freeimages.com

In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Accepting the Salvation of Surrender
Here's the link to the worldwide prayer guide: The Prayer List
#disciple #livingwater #stagnantspirit