There are many socially acceptable things to confess in the church, but boredom isn't one of them. It can feel shallow and selfish to say our relationship with God is no longer interesting or exciting. If we’re honest, though, most of us will experience seasons of life where our faith feels stale. Morning devotionals, Sunday sermons and worship playlists don’t evoke the same passion they once did.
This loss of joy functions as a symptom of a greater problem, a warning light on the dashboard of our lives. It tells us that we’ve allowed lesser loves to overtake our love for God. We might see this shift taking many forms, from misplaced expectations about God to persistent sin in our lives to neglecting spiritual rhythms and disciplines.
Like every relationship, we have expectations of God, but when He doesn’t meet them, we can inadvertently protect our hearts from any future disappointment. A failed business endeavor, prolonged conflict or unrelenting hardship can make us spiritually weary. We begin to question God’s goodness when He is not working according to our preferred timeline or plan. Believing God’s primary goal is our happiness and His glory is secondary, we create a persistent desire for comfort, erecting barriers to growth that take us out of an easy environment. If we don’t process our doubt well, we will unintentionally allow our distrust of God to grow, impeding our heart’s ability to find joy in God.
In some seasons of life, we hold onto sinful patterns, prioritizing our own pleasures over the Lord. While God’s grace is abundant and overflowing, the longer we persist in sin, the more likely we are to fall into the belief that grace is cheap. Regardless of our ultimate status before the Lord and regardless of what we might tell ourselves, sin has and will always be an offense to God. If we refuse to submit to Him in confession and repentance, we will start to see our faith grow stagnant. We cannot choose to love something that God hates and avoid becoming apathetic.
Neglecting Spiritual Rhythms
Life happens, we get busy and the abundance of distractions around us can takes our focus away from God. Spiritual rhythms like praying, reading and reflecting on Scripture, practicing solitude and community and living missionally are essential to our relationship with God. They help us engage in regeneration, where the Holy Spirit transforms our lives into the likeness of Christ, yet they require intentionality, persistence and diligence. Even though we might think it’s for noble reasons, busyness and distraction will eclipse our spiritual rhythms. The ways we spend our time, energy and money are simple measures by which we can see what takes priority in our lives. When we stop making time and space for the Lord, it’s easy to lose sight of our love for Him, making our faith stagnant and fostering spiritual apathy.
How to Find Joy Again
Our spiritual growth and ability to find complete joy in God are intertwined. The more we come to know about Him and allow ourselves to be transformed by truth, the more our hearts are supernaturally shaped to love what He loves.
In seasons of spiritual boredom, the road back to joy is one where we first see the wrong turn we might have taken and come back to the place that first cultivated our joy in God. It is where we sit in the truth of passages like Psalm 19, living in awe of the magnitude and glory of our God or where we meditate on the depths of His character while seeking to emulate those same attributes in our own life. It is a space where we realize that to know Him is to be part of His mission, seeing ourselves as conduits through which He works to impact this world for His glory—and there is nothing boring about that.