Is your spiritual health declining?

"cough cough."
"Sir, You have the common cold."
It is not so easy to diagnose our spiritual life. Instead it is almost impossible. Actually it is impossible without the guidance and discernment from the Holy Spirit.

Here are seven symptoms of a declining spiritual livelihood.
1.) Spiritual Declension - Declining Spirituality and the interest thereof (God). Octavius Winslow points out that
"The path of spiritual declension is a 'sloped plane', each step accelerating the rapidity of the soul's descent. It commences at the closet. The restraining of prayer; especially private devotion; is the first stage in the decay and declension of the believer in the divine life. Soon will follow the fascination and power of the world; and when the world enters like a flood, Christ and prayer and eternal realities are swept before its impetuous torrent, then the gracious soul is stranded upon the bleak, rock bound coast of bitter remorse and dark despair."

2.) Formalized religion - legalism, which is more concerned with our outward actions instead of our heart. This is expressed in the corporate sense through preaching and Pharisaical pastoral care. Also there is no desire to see God's word applied

3.) Distracted Desires - a misplaced desire in anything other than Christ. (this list is endless, including, ideals, politics, sports, romance, etc.) As a godly man once said, "Our minds are Idol Factories."

4.) Habitual sin - Cherished sins that are a habit for your life. A true spiritual life will say that, "I am dead" Look at the great church father, St. Augustine. "Father, give me purity but not yet." Later, one of his promiscuous girlfriends walked down the street and said, "I miss you Augustine." To this Augustine replied, "Augustine is dead."

5.) Ignorance of knowledge of the Truth - pride, no humility except a false coat. (1 Cor. 8:1)

6.) Self reliance - instead of the Cross (you can see easily how this would lead to death)

7.) Spiritual Apathy or Death- the result of our sin. When God does not make sense to you (Matthew 11:20-24.)

These cautions warn you and I to hold on to our first love - DO NOT LET GO! There is no greater trial, test or question set before you and I.