The study of scripture should always be approached with the intent of seeking to honour God. Yes there are times when we have difficulty focusing on what we are reading and really taking in the words in a meaningful way. It is important to remember however that we benefit from this seeking to honour God in carefully studying His word in many ways especially if we seek to understand the inspired writer’s original words from a theological, devotional and practical outlook. If we are ever to live a life that is glorifying to God, we need to be reading the scriptures and living them! Given that this study is necessary to being lifted up daily and if I may be quite honest, surviving this wretched world, anything that hinders this study or outlook can be damaging to the Christian. The study and living of God’s word keeps us in our joy and helps us in our struggles. It protects us and gives us strength when our enemies attack us including the flesh, the devil and this world.
There can be circumstances that arise however that cause an individual to be separated from his bible and even at times his closeness to God. Generally when this happens, we get ourselves in a world of trouble. There are times when a Christian experiences a sort of confusion that leads him or her to be spiritual limbo. I’m not saying they are lost in that they have been excluded from salvation and are back to the state they were prior to conversion. I mean limbo in that they have become lukewarm and confused as to their path to glorifying Yahweh. There are other instances that are far more severe especially when a believer has fallen into sin or even the graver backsliding into the world. The misery that the believer endures in this state is nothing short of a spiritual depression. It is not natural for the believer to live in this state and quite frankly is leaves him/her in utter desolation. I can tell you from firsthand experience that this is an awful state and our dealing with this matter is of a crucial importance. There are many Christians who have offered me advice in the past as to what to do when you are stuck in this state. Some have advised that we need to get alone with God and repent from our sins. Others have said that need to read our bibles and attend church services while others feel it would be wise to talk to a brother about this matter. These are all very useful and commendable suggestions.
A few years ago, I received some advice that really stuck with me. I believe it was something I read from a book but it could have been given by an individual. The phrase that caught me was “get back to the cross”. It was simple enough but there is much to this statement that we should ponder if we are ever in the state I just mentioned. What I took away from this thought was essentially that we have a starting point in our Christian walk and it is the most important foundation that we can live by. It is a matter of finding your spiritual footing and the place to begin is where it all began. It is the reason why we have access to God and our understanding of everything we are to God. How can we understand God, sin, righteousness, love, faithfulness, hope and life without it? Most importantly is the thought that at the cross is where we find our victory. Christ conquered the devil and his minions there (Acts 2:24; Eph. 1:20-23; 1 Peter 3:22) and it is our source of victory. We cannot conquer this state of things without first looking at the cross where the serpents head was crushed (Genesis 3:15) and the strong man was bound (Luke 10:18; 11:21-22; Mark 3:27). We are living in a day of victory and we are the sons of God, the heirs to the promises, the victors and the citizens of the Kingdom of God. We are a royal priesthood made up of a redeemed people who have been justified, sanctified and await our final guaranteed glorification. It is true that being pilgrims in this world is no picnic and we suffer from the same illnesses and suffering as everyone else if not more. We must remember however that He who died on that cross has all authority on earth and in heaven. It is He and He alone who we must focus upon when we have lost our path.