Beware of Spiritual Fatigue -Introduction -couple weeks ago – “one of those weeks” – not complaining – nothing bad -difficult to get things to “come together,” back hurting – not sleeping well -So, Sunday came along and I was tired! That’s not a good way to worship God. -harder to stay focused, mind wanders -Have you ever had your mind wander during a song and then wonder if you had sung the proper words? -Can you relate? Then the preacher gets up to speak and you’re supposed to stay focused? -There are times we’re going to be tired. Sometimes it is due to things outside our control, sometimes it may be things that are within our control. -So, here’s a thought: Preparing to worship God isn’t limited to the “scramble” to get ready and to the building on time (or close to it) on Sunday morning. Perhaps we could do a better job with that on Sunday morning. Or, perhaps we could do a better job of preparing on Saturday night. -Again, worship isn’t to be taken lightly and, yes, we should prepare ourselves for it – physically and mentally. -But, this morning I don’t want to talk about physical fatigue but spiritual fatigue. -Warnings Against Spiritual Fatigue -Joel 1:15 – “awake” – an early warning to Judah regarding God’s sending of the locusts -If we are not careful, we might find ourselves in a spiritual slumber out of which we need to awake. -1 Pet 5:8 – “watchful” = from a Greek word which means “to keep awake” (Strong) -We need to be on the alert, spiritually. We don’t want to be “asleep on the job.” -Rev. 3:15-19 – lukewarm vs zealous (Could this relate to spiritual fatigue?) -Those at Laodicea had become spiritually dulled. They became comfortable (v 17) and fell asleep. -Let us not make the same mistake. -1 Thess 5:6-8 -Context - Jesus’ 2nd coming – The Thessalonians were not to be caught off guard. They were “children of light” (v 5) and were therefore to be awake and sober (clear-minded). -On that day, you don’t want to be awakened by the Lord’s alarm clock – shout, voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God. It will be too late for those who were spiritually asleep. -Remember / Reflect -If you feel spiritually fatigued, remember and reflect upon all that God has done. -“Remember” is a word that occurs numerous times in the scriptures – i.e. Deuteronomy. -Rev 2:5; Eph 2:12-13, 19-22 -“Reflect” upon the blessings offered through Christ (Eph 1:3). But also reflect upon the responsibilities that we have as children of God. -Eph 4:1 (Col 1:10, 1 Thess 2:12) – We can’t do this in a spiritual slumber. -Resources -To avoid spiritual fatigue and/or to recover from it, utilize the resources that God provides. -Utilizing something electrical (getting the energy necessary) requires plugging it in. -Do we stay “plugged in” spiritually? -Our electronic devices need to be charged and recharged (while typing my phone is charging). -Do we keep our spiritual “batteries” charged? -How do we stay “plugged in” / charged? -Read and Study the Word -Worship - If worship doesn’t help “charge” your spiritual batteries, then something is wrong. -In such situations, the tendency may be to look outward (the services themselves) but it is probably an indication of a need to look inward. -Fellowship - Time spent with brothers and sisters in Christ should be encouraging. But, are we spending time with our Christian family as we should? -If may not depend upon the busy-ness of a schedule but the focus of the schedule. -busy away from our Christian family vs busy with our Christian family -Prayer – Is it a regular pattern in our lives or an occasional action? -Acts 2:42 – pattern established from the beginning of the church -Responsibility -Obviously, this category blends with the previous. -But, I want us to think in terms of our responsibility toward service. Not only are we to worship God but we are to serve him (Matt 4:10). -One of the best avenues of encouragement is service. And, there are many, many ways to serve God – to be involved in his work. -Mark 14:8 – the importance of doing what you can -God does not expect us to do that which we cannot. He does expect us to do what we can. -Summary and Invitation -There are going to be times when we are tired on a Sunday. And, with that being the case, we may struggle to stay focused. But, we certainly do not want to be spiritually fatigued. -Matt 11:28-30 -Invitation Joplin – March 17, 2013 – a.m.