We had the privilege of worshiping at my former college church this past weekend with my parents-in-law. In Hillcrest PCA’s church bulletin Sunday was a helpful reminder of ways to examine oneself in advance of the Lord’s Supper in light of 1 Corinthians 11:28 (Hillcrest, like our church, will celebrate communion next week).
This is a list taken from Richard Owen Roberts’ Revival (1982) on possible evidences of spiritual stagnation. I really enjoyed going through these and plan to keep them in the back of my Bible. Several of them jumped out and convicted me instantly while others provoked deeper thought and reflection. If you know me, you’ll probably be able to tell some of the more obvious ones. I thought I’d share them here. It is a long list, but I would not say that it’s exhaustive.
Prayer ceases to be a vital part of your life.
The quest for biblical truth ceases and you grow content with the knowledge of eternal things already acquired.
The biblical knowledge possessed or acquired is treated as external fact and not applied inwardly.
Earnest thoughts about eternal things cease to be regular and gripping.
The services of the church lose their delights.
Pointed spiritual discussions are an embarrassment.
Sports, recreation, and entertainment are a large and necessary part of your life.
Sins of the body and mind can be indulged in without an uproar of your conscience.
Aspirations for Christ-like holiness cease to dominate your life.
The acquisition of money and goods becomes a dominant part of your thinking.
You can mouth religious songs and words without heart.
You can hear the Lord’s name taken in vain, spiritual concerns mocked, and eternal issues flippantly treated, and not be moved to indignation and action.
You can watch degrading movies and television and read morally debilitating literature.
Breaches of peace in the brotherhood are of little or no concern to you.
The slightest excuse seems sufficient to keep you from spiritual duty and opportunity.
You become content with your lack of spiritual power and no longer seek repeated endowments of power from on high.
You pardon your own sin and sloth by saying the Lord understands and remembers that we are dust.
There is no music in your soul and no song in your heart.
You adjust happily to the world’s lifestyle.
Injustice and human misery exist around you and you do little or nothing to relieve the suffering.
Your church has fallen into spiritual declension and the Word of God is no longer preached there with power, and you are content.
The spiritual condition of the world declines around you and you cannot perceive it.
You are willing to cheat your employer.
You find yourself rich in grace and mercy and marvel at your own godlikeness.
Your tears are dried up and the hard, cold spiritual facts of your existence cannot unleash them.