There are some days I just feel cold.
I don’t mean the kind of cold where you need to reach for a sweater. I mean an inner cold.
I can find myself in front of a person or situation that calls for compassion, and yet I feel nothing. I do nothing. It’s an emotional numbness that doesn’t even beg concern. Just still coldness.
How can this be in me? I love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength… don’t I?
Why do I still act and react in ungrateful, ungodly ways?
Due to the nature of this frigid place, I often allow hours to go by without addressing this obvious problem.
In this state of indifference I begin to question everything. Why is life so hard? Why are people so insecure? Why has God left us here to live through such misery? Where is God?
If you have ever found yourself in this place, you know how confusing it can be, and it feels like it will never end.
That's the hardest part. The hopelessness.
So, what is a Christian to do when a spiritual winter changes our atmosphere? Where do we find shelter?
Because I belong to Christ, He refuses to leave me out in the cold and gently beckons me to come inside.
It’s then I run to my inner room and slam the door behind me. I desperately strain to hear God’s voice through His written Word, and I expose my cold heart to the warmth of His breath.
His wisdom calls to me from the Scriptures with a voice that pierces my spirit, and the beauty of His truth brings me to my knees.
Those are the most real, raw, and gut-wrenching moments with God. I melt in His presence as I am reminded that the coldness within me is not of Him. It is a lie.
I want my spirit to remain here as I leave my inner room. I want to live out this reality and bring it into my marriage, my friendships, my acquaintances, and to everyone I meet.
But the frost of sin’s influence remains. I’m never sure when a gust of earthly wind will grab hold of my heart and leave me exposed.
Sure enough, the breeze will come and the chill returns. The selfishness returns. The pride returns.
Paul is my hero. He so graciously let us into his own struggles so we would know we’re not alone. Yes, even Paul had this very same thing happen to him.
He explained that because we belong to Christ these times would come, but it is vital to understand their nature.
Paul writes “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate... so now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me… I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:15, 17, 21-25).
So, I go back to God’s Word again, and again, and again. And He teaches me to listen to wisdom.
Wisdom is telling me to obey the Spirit when He says I must walk by Him and not my flesh.
In my spirit I beg God to crush the sin within me and help me choose love, compassion, and forgiveness—to see others as better than myself and remember how much I have been forgiven.
Yes, I am at war. But it’s a war that has already been won.
Therefore, I press on with the marching orders given to me directly from the King who says, “I have conquered sin and death. Follow Me through the battlefield and I will bring you home.”
I will keep my eyes fixed on Jesus—the way, the truth, and the life. I will close my ears to the dying breath of my flesh that whispers out lies in a futile attempt to prevent the inevitable.
I will live joyfully in the truth I know in my mind, not the deceptive emotions of my flesh.
And slowly the coldness I have felt is seen for what it is.
It’s the coldness of death; the death of my flesh. And I don’t live there anymore.
Now when I feel that shiver of icy indifference, I’m reminded that I have been set free. I belong to God, and I now live under the warmth of His permanent embrace. As I, with my mind, serve the law of God, I feel the Spirit lay His warm blanket of comfort over my soul.
Each day as I sit with the Word of God and allow wisdom to penetrate my mind, it sinks deep within me and changes me. The roots of my faith grow deeper as they hold me steady and sure when the earthly winds of deceit blow.
I am secure and free to walk in self-denying, cross-carrying, Jesus following victory. Jesus paid with His life to win that victory and there is nothing that will ever hold me captive again.
“Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” vs. 24-25