Have you ever had a feeling of spiritual paralysis? I have felt stuck. I have felt like something was wrong. It was like I was somehow out of step with the Lord. I felt a sense of being paralyzed. Spiritually paralyzed. Paralysis is non-movement. Physical paralysis may be caused by a physical malady. In the same way, there may be some spiritual maladies that are immobilizing us, causing Spiritual Paralysis. However, I have learned to Overcome Spiritual Paralysis.
#1 - Sins to Confess
First, I ask God to search me, to know my heart, and to see if there was any offensive way within me. Un-confessed sin will act as a barrier to your relationship with God. I record those items as “Sins to Confess”. This may include a judgmental heart, a sharp tongue, a wrong thought, a wandering eye or a prideful spirit. I record these sins. I now have a list of sins to confess.
#2 - Burdens
Second, I asked God to help me discern things burdening my heart. Burdens are not sin. I record my “Burdens”. I may record financial burdens weighing heavy. No one has sinned, it’s just on my heart. I may have a nagging cold. It is not a sin-thing. It is, however, something that affects my life and how I am feeling. This list might include the mounting stack of papers and junk mail weighing me down. These are burdens, not sins. Now, there are two types of burdens....
#3 - Things vs. Things to Do
I look through my list of burdens. I mark some as “Things”. I mark others as “Things to Do”. Some items weighing my heart are just “Things" that I need to acknowledge are bothering me. I cannot DO much of anything about my nagging cold. The stack of papers is also a burden. The difference between my nagging cold (a Thing) and that mountain of papers is (a Thing to Do) an important distinction. My "Things" are often items I cannot control. Yet, "Things to Do" are items over which I do have control.
It is good to remember that I can be in a funk and it not be sin. Separating these items has been massively freeing to me. My stack of papers (a Thing to Do) and my sharp tongue (Sin), are simply not the same. Both are adding to my sense of spiritual paralysis, but wholly different.
#4 - Spend Time in Prayer
I take my entire list to prayer. (1) I pray and confess sin. I clear it up with the Lord. I leave it at the cross. (2) I now pray through the “Things” list, the items I cannot control. I cast my anxieties upon Him because He cares for me. I move forward, knowing I have entrusted it to God and He heard me. (3) I now pray about the “Things to Do” list, over which I do have control. I ask God to empower me to accomplish something.
Do Something; Get Moving!
Rather than sitting and feeling like a slug, I can pray, get perspective and get moving. Stress often comes not from what we are DOING, but from what we THINK we should be doing.
It has been a great blessing to identify items that (1) need to be confessed, items that I just (2) need to talk to God about and items I just (3) need to strap on some diligence and do. Who knows, this simple exercise may help you in overcoming spiritual paralysis.