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Overcoming Spiritual Bankruptcy

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Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

Someone recently said to me, “I just feel spiritually bankrupt.” I was somewhat surprised and then I remembered how spiritually bankrupt I felt for over a decade. On the outside, it may have appeared all was well, but all was NOT well with my soul.

It was honestly the most difficult time of my life. Trying to live solely on your own self-sufficiency, sourcing energy from within yourself when you have no reservoir to draw from and no way to fill it, is exhausting. Not just that but life takes on a tinge of gray. Apathy can set in and so can hopelessness.

You start asking yourself, “What is the point to all of this? Make money, provide for a family, be a good parent, take a vacation a few times a year, vote, be a good neighbor…all for what?” Then the search for new opportunities, a change of scenery, a new Corvette, set in.

“Maybe if I just change a few things I can regain the happiness of my youth. I remember so well all the free-time, the parties, the friends, the high of life (and maybe even drugs). Yes! That is the answer. Time travel backwards and recreate the lifestyle of freedom.”

And so the seeking for meaning continues. It has to be somewhere out there, beneath the pale blue sky. Then we find it doesn’t work and so we start our internal search.

“I just need to read one more book. Listen to one more podcast. Watch one more documentary or Ted talk…then I’ll have all the information I need to be happy.” Our brains are popping at the seams with relevant and fascinating facts. We can carry on a conversation about most any topic and sound intelligible and yet our heart has not made the connection.

The heart. Ah yes! That is what we have been seeking and not found yet. The heart.

The heart is our spiritual bank. It is where we need to make regular deposits and check in with our banker, God. For out of the heart flow the issues of life (Prov 4:23).

So today I will tell you how to get into the H.O.W. Bank which is where God is the CEO.

  1. H is for Honesty- The first step to overcoming spiritual bankruptcy is to humbly get honest with yourself. Admit you are spiritually bankrupt and that what you are doing is not working. You can only do this if having a strong relationship with God is important to you and you are ready to make a change.
  2. O is for Open-mindedness- One of my favorite quotes by Herbert Spencer is this:”There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”

    If we are not open to the possibility that God exists and that He wants to know us, if we try to seek spiritual help or guidance and can only come up with intellectual reasons why He doesn’t exist or how religion has hurt so many people then we are not a good candidate for getting out of spiritual bankruptcy. You must be open-minded to make any progress.

  3. W is for Willingness- There is a saying in 12-step which is “Are you willing to be willing?” I love that. For people who aren’t quite there…they aren’t sure they’re in the right place…they don’t want to be fully invested YET, it is a small bridge to cross to ask yourself if you are willing to be willing. Are you willing to be willing to get out of spiritual bankruptcy? That is up to you.

All I know is that when I was far from God my life felt tiresome. It had lost the color and zest it once had. And now that God and I are working together once again, I have confidence that all things are working together for the good. I don’t worry about the details. I work hard and let go.

These blogs are my daily deposit in my Spiritual Bank Account. I love to invest time in hearing what God has to say and then delivering it to you. Whether one person reads this or one million it is fine with me. I have received what I needed this morning and I’m ready for a solid spiritual day of progress…not perfection.

I hope you will take the H.O.W. Bank concept with you and if you are feeling spiritually bankrupt ask yourself these simple questions.

HOW long will I allow myself to keep God at a distance?

HOW long will I try to run my own life on my own strength?

HOW can I take the first step back to re-engaging God’s will in my life?

HOW would that look for me?

HOW can I access the willingness to try?

These are just a start. I am sure you can come up with more. Spend some time thinking about your concept of God and write it down. Then say a simple prayer which might go something like this:

God I know I’ve been far from You. I can’t even hear your voice and I don’t know if it is even possible. I feel like I have most of my life under control but yet in my heart, I feel spiritually bankrupt. I remember fondly the times in my life when you seemed close to me. I want to experience that again with you and I admit I don’t even know where to start. I humbly ask that you show me what to do. Put someone in my path to talk with me. Help me to be open-minded and surrender my intellect just a little bit today. Help me to be willing to be willing. In these small things I know you can and will show up. Thank you for being here even when I was distracted and distant. I need you. Thank you for listening.

I’ll close with this song which is one of my favorites by Big Daddy Weave. Put on headphones or turn it up. Follow along with the words and let your heart receive them with love. Have a beautiful day and congratulations you have just made a deposit into your account at the H.O.W. Bank.