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Beware: Are we getting “jaded”?
So many of you come from countries where English is not your primary language so perhaps the word “jaded” may not mean a lot to some of you. It means things that used to excite you, alarm you, surprise you, anger you, or created strong feelings within you – no longer do. When that happens, you are “jaded”. At least that’s my definition of it.
This is an important topic for each of us to consider because one of Satan’s greatest tools is to get each of us jaded regarding things spiritual. When we’re jaded, we lose a lot of our desire to fight against sin. We don’t care about rewards and blessings as much. We just get to where things don’t matter so much. And that’s exactly when Satan can make inroads into our lives. We must not let him have any advantages over us, so I hope you’ll consider this topic carefully. As I look at my own life and across the ekklesia of our Father’s called-out-ones, frankly I see a lot of jaded people. Not good.
Getting jaded is caused by a lot of things, including too many disappointments when expectations and hopes are dashed. Or our hopes and dreams seem to- - more often than not – get squashed into the mire of “forget it”. Prayers we knew in our hearts would be answered positively - - meaning the way WE wanted them to work out – don’t happen that way. Loved ones die too early, too soon. Maybe you’re in pain – and not getting healed. That can do it too. Or we keep yearning for the Promised Messiah’s return – but it seems to keep getting pushed off a few more years. The exciting prophecies and predictions of that preacher who seemed so confident of who, and how, and when everything will work out in the last days -- don’t materialize. Or maybe for you it’s even more personal. You’ve been dumped by friends, or not allowed into certain inner circles or groups or congregations – and you get to the point of not caring anyway. And then we are in the midst of “the love of many (including maybe you and me!) shall wax cold….” (Matthew 24:12).
So what happens? We get jaded. Our prayers lose their intensity and fervency– and some days we don’t even get around to praying at all. (Be sure to tie this blog into the most recent sermon – Fervent Prayers). Our passion for things of God, for life, for important things – is gone. We still do our duties, but the passion’s gone. We get into the gray land of “I don’t care” and “it doesn’t matter” or “it’s no use” and – in worse cases, “I don’t matter”. In the very worst cases, it crashes into the dangerous bottomless pit of “God doesn’t care”.
Yes, it can happen. Certainly it happens even more easily to those who are clinically depressed. But it can happen to any of us –depressed or not. Many of us get depressed, but if you remain depressed for a long time, get some help on it, because it certainly can lead you to an “I don’t care anymore” state of mind.
This is being jaded, a very dangerous state to slip into. A lot of people suffering from clinical depression can slip into this state perhaps more easily than others. But many who don’t have clinical depression are also jaded. Cynicism and being jaded are everywhere. I think most of us – maybe all of us – slip into it from time to time. It’s so widespread that our Master even warned against one aspect or another of this jaded condition in his message to the churches of Revelation 2 and 3. And he tells us over and over to hear what he says to all the congregations.
To the Ephesians, he said: “You’ve left your first love. Go back, find your first love. You’re still working at things, but you’ve lost that fire, that first love, that passion you had at the start.” As the song says, “You’ve lost that loving feeling”. And another song from way back had words like “I don’t know where we went wrong, but the feeling’s gone, and I just can’t get it back…” So song writers know about this. Do you? Does John 3:16 still excite you – as the last blog writer wrote – or do we hear crickets, as he so aptly asked?
To the last church –Laodicea-- maybe to you and me: “You’re neither hot nor cold. I wish you were hot or hold – but you’re in that awful tepid jaded state of ‘lukewarm’, and it’s nauseating me. Repent. Get your passion back!” But remember his message is to all seven church groups.
To Sardis he says: “You’re practically dead, when you should be wide awake. WAKE UP. Renew those things ready to die in your lives.”
To the church at Thyatira: “You’re so jaded you think it’s OK to dabble with wrong teachings and have accept pagan religion and false teachers into your worship of Me”.
Folks, I want to state this: becoming jaded on things that truly matter can have a major impact on what God allows in our lives to wake us up, to get the sparkle back in our eyes, the leap back in our steps, and the excitement back in our voice when we speak of him.
Some examples of how we’re reacting in a jaded way today when we would never have accepted any of this way back:
** Planned Parenthood every year, terminates via abortions over 250,000 -324,000 developing babies, and we yawn. In 2014, they terminated – their words – 323,999 little unborn boys and girls in the making. Read that again and let it sink in. What do most of us do in the face of this ongoing genocide? In fact, how are you reacting right NOW as you read what I just wrote? We sit back and do nothing, say nothing. We’ve heard so much about abortion that we don’t want to upset anyone or lose any friends, so we let it continue without a ripple from us. In other words, we’re jaded about abortion.
** Do you remember the first time you heard about ISIS crucifying children or their parents in the streets? Or the many beheadings that were going on? You cringed at first. But let’s admit it: it’s turning into old news and we’re getting … jaded.
** Do you remember when learning God’s truth was so exciting? You couldn’t study enough, prayer was real, your spouse had to beg you to quit studying and come to bed? Do you remember that first love? What’s it like now?
** Do you remember how eager you were to drop the things we were doing that were not Biblical? But now, some old sins and bad habits of sin . . . still linger. Are we jaded?
** Have you read this far and find this topic dull and boring? Yes! You’re jaded!
So how do we get out of this terrible state?
Click on “Continue reading” for ideas on how to revive your first love.
What are we to do? How are we to revive the old excitement we had? How are we to bleach out of our lives this horrible jaded condition many of us find ourselves in?
Passover is coming up. We’ve been called to separate ourselves from the ways of this world and to prize the high calling we’ve been offered. THIS is the time for each of us to spend some private time in deep prayer repenting of being lukewarm, jaded, unexcited, leaving our first love and everything I’ve already talked about.
I recommend we do some heavy meditating on the areas we each can see where we’re floundering. Do some honest and prayerful introspection, asking our Father to shine the light of his truth into the nooks and crannies of our lives. David asked his God to reveal his secret sins to him. That’s what I’m talking about. Here are some areas to consider:
**Prayer and Bible study. Is it happening, or is it a rare event now in your life?
**Fasting? Was your last day of fasting on the Day of Atonement and is that your only day of fasting nowadays?
**Make a list of weak and sinful areas of your life where you need to declare war on sin, put on the armor of God, and put together a plan of action to defeat the sins that so easily ensnare us, as we look to Yeshua, the author and finisher of our faith. Can you point to a single sin or sinful way you had a year ago that has been overcome and is gone? Are you overcoming?
Some ideas to look for as we do this:
** Are there idols – things we put a priority on -- before our living God?
** Are you full of the right kind of passion and fire for your Beloved? Do you love to learn more about Jesus – or Yeshua (his Hebrew name)? Do you grasp that you are HIS, and HE is yours, as the Song of Songs says (Song of Solomon 6:2-3).
**How special, holy and set-apart do we keep his holy sabbath anymore, or are we getting careless and finding we’re letting more and more “work” sneak into our sabbaths? Are we prepared for the sabbath day – or do we arrive home from work long after the sun has set? Remember, it’s been known and practiced for millennia that it is based on the setting of the sun, and not the sun rising, as some are starting to teach. Leviticus 23:32 – about the holy sabbath of Atonement, makes very clear that the holy days and the weekly sabbath are to be from the prior sundown to the next sundown.
** How are we doing on coveting and lust – for something we can’t have?
** Do we hate anyone or are there people we hold grudges against? Yeshua said to hate someone is to murder that person.
**Do you do everything in your power to honor your parents? And not just your parents, but scripture says we are to “HONOR ALL” and let our God be the judge if they are doing dishonorable things (1 Peter 2:17). We’re even to honor “the king” – or the national leader and all leaders God has placed over us (1 Peter 2:17; Romans 13:1-9). How are we doing so far? I see too many believers with very disrespectful Facebook pages to whomever is the president at the time.
**If you’re married, are you submitting yourself to your spouse and loving her as Christ does the church, and being the greatest servant in your home? And at the same time, if you’re called to lead, are you leading in a God-like way, and not as one “ruling it over” the others, which Christ so strongly condemned?
** If you’re obese, are you on a program to get control of that? (I preach to myself too.)
**If you drink to the point where you become inebriated (under influence of alcohol), wake up! Get control of that. You may have to put all alcohol out of the house.
Are we LIVING with sin, accepting sin, or are we actively taking real steps to root it out by letting Yeshua really LIVE again in us, as we follow HIM and his leading? He WILL live righteously again, in you this time, if you – like John the Baptist – say “I must decrease and he must increase.”
We’re coming up to the Days of Unleavened Bread, when we have no leaven in our home for a complete 7 days – completely putting sin out of our lives, as we eat of the unleavened bread of our Redeemer. Don’t just deleaven your home – deleaven your LIFE. So many believers do such a great job of cleaning up and Deleavening that they’re worn out and too tired to consider what the point of all that is for: to show we need a SAVIOR, because no matter how careful you are, I will guarantee you: there will still be leaven in your home somewhere, even in the air! We need to let HIM fill our lives with his righteousness and keep all sin out. It’s a battle. There’s a real fight going on. Are you aware of a real fight you’re putting up against sin?
So put out the old leaven, and celebrate the joy of Passover with our Savior, who is now our life, is now our righteousness, and is now our salvation! With Christ, we can do all things, Paul said, including putting sin OUT of our lives.
Remember Yeshua says over and over to the 7 churches of Revelation – “to him who OVERCOMES I will….” and then he lists various rewards. If we’re living in sin, let’s stop. Let’s declare war on sin – actually say or write those words and do it! And then start every single day with the knowledge we are at war, a real war, against Satan and the sins he wants us to enjoy to our hurt. Too many of us start each day without the armor of God carefully strapped on. We go out just in our underwear, unprepared. I preach to myself too. Make sure you know what the armor of God IS – and how each piece actually points to Yeshua. Put on Christ, in other words, EACH and EVERY day, consciously. Don’t let a single day go by without putting HIM on. HE is our armor. I’ll do a sermon on that someday soon I hope.
Let’s use the weeks up to Passover beseeching our God to help us experience once more the excitement the early Israelites must have had after their Passover and as they separated from Egypt. They went out with a high hand, with boldness. And they left the land of Egypt – protected and guided by their mighty God. They were excited. They were thrilled – at least at the start.
We have God’s spirit in us and with us to help us. Let’s take this time to admit to our God that we have indeed become lukewarm and jaded. Next: repent deeply of it and make this a call to action to come out of the laid-back, blasé, ho-hum, nothing-excites-me-anymore mentality!
So, are you jaded?
I hope you and I will take steps now to stop being jaded, lukewarm, asleep, unexcited and become on fire for our Beloved and our Abba, our dear Father, even as we actively follow the Holy Spirit’s lead in our lives. We want to be among those who “sigh and cry” over the abominations in the land (Ezekiel 9:1-4), who are marked for protection by God. We want to among those who “eagerly await” the return of the king (Hebrews 9:27-28).
So be among those who repent of being lukewarm and jaded, and who have a real plan in place to fight and overcome sin. Let’s tune in to our God and renew the early thrills and excitement we once had.