22 Jul ARE YOU SPIRITUALLY DEAD?
It was a beautiful sunny day…
The effervescent rays of the sun caressing the dewy drops on the landscape danced to the musical strains of the birds on the trees.
The earth was shrouded in mystic orbs of sparkles and light…
Janet emerges from the kitchen humming her favourite melody, moving her limbs with grace and in total rapture; a habit which perhaps many women are much accustomed to when in a light and joyous mood. She moves about brusquely, tending to her daily chores with an effortless ease and élan that comes with years of mindless toil.
The hooting of a stray owl seemed a total misfit in this cheerful setting. Perhaps a harbinger of something untoward waiting to unfold?
Her husband and sons would soon be back home from their respective morning routines. Janet hurriedly sets the table for breakfast.
Startled by the reverberation of the land phone, she pauses for a moment…
Then, muttering under her breath, she leaves aside her chores and lunges forward to attend the call, en route breaking a long standing breathtakingly beautiful antique vase ; a family heirloom that has been handed down generations to cherish and pass over to the next in line.
Janet couldn’t believe her eyes as to what lay in tatters on the floor …Little did she know that she was in for a bigger shock that would render her life topsy-turvy forever.
She would soon be informed that her husband and her sons died in a fatal car accident.
Janet went into deep shock and trauma…
Years after the incident, she still remains Spiritually Dead
What exactly is Spiritual Death?
The term ‘’Spiritual Death’’, does not find direct mention anywhere in the scripture. However, we see that the Book of Genesis (3) deals with the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve committed sin, they “hid themselves from the presence of God’’. They were rendered Spiritually Dead! Shame, guilt and regret clouded their minds that were pure and unblemished until then.
Sin separated mankind from God, staining a world that was pristine and picture perfect.
Due to the fall of Adam, we are all born into this world in a state of ‘inherited sin’. Inherited sin is removed from our body and soul when we are baptized after birth. Baptism is God’s grace on humankind never to be doomed by the sins committed by his forefathers.
Isaiah 53:6-All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Our God is divinely perfect and holy. In the beginning, mankind enjoyed a deep and intense relationship with God in the Garden of Eden. Sin separated them from God and created a rift between the Creator and His creation.
Anyone who distances himself from God or gets thrown out of the realms of spirituality through life circumstances and extreme trauma is ‘Spiritually Dead’.
How do we identify Spiritual Death?
Romans 3:23 reveals: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
A person who is spiritually dead need not always have definitive symptoms or explicit behavioral deformities that one might easily take note of. He/she will have all the faculties aligned in perfection to live peacefully and in harmony with the universe.
However, these faculties are misaligned to be in communion with God our Father. They are insensible to the love of Our Father in heaven and remain indifferent and callous to the call of duty towards the word of God.
This is a dangerous situation. A spiritually dead person might appear to be doing mighty deeds of charity and living a seemingly holy life.
But, these deeds of charity and kindness are not triggered by a desire to please God, but to please themselves and attain worldly adulation and fame. Their acts might conform to the Law of the world, but not to the law of the Spirit. They are like marvellous, whitewashed tombs in which their spiritually dead bodies rest in a non-peaceful slumber.
Matthew 23:28-So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Coming of Jesus to save the Spiritually Dead
None of us are completely free from the clutches of sin. It is somewhat baffling to note that even when we are spiritually aligned with God, we sin in many different ways. Lies, slander, gossip, hatred, bitterness, unholy relations, and the likes stealthily enter our mind and body, and taint our spirits; at times to the extent of having no repentance for these acts of sin.
Thankfully, our God is a compassionate and forgiving God and do not want to leave us in the lurch, to be ruined forever. When we are alienated, tuned-in towards sin, and hostile to the word of God, we might think that this is a hopeless situation.
But, because of His unfailing love for us, God sent His only son Jesus Christ to save us from the dark and dubious world of the dead. The son of God restored us from our state of sinfulness and death, and put us back into the heavenly realm of His Father, by surrendering himself as a peace offering on the cross.
Ephesians 2:18-19- for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God.
Under the auspices of our God, we do have a reason to look on the bright side of things, even after we have committed sin and went against His wishes.
Jesus’ sacrifice makes us immune to the ill effects of the sins that we have committed. His sacrifice on the cross mends the separation between the Creator and the Created. Mankind must raise the bar to be able to bridge the distance they created from God and enter the expanse of paradise.
How do we identify Spiritual Death
Like Janet, Spiritual Death can happen to anyone who goes through persistent trauma or shock. While all her mental and physical faculties are in perfect condition, her spiritual life is impaired due to the negative experience in her life. At times, no amount of reasoning or consolation can restore a spiritually dead person from blind crate they have fallen into.
All of us must remember that Spiritual Death is the alien ground on which the evil one can easily influence us and destroy our relationship with God forever. It can lead to the complete destruction of our souls if we are not being extremely careful. Like sheep gone astray, we sit in the shadow of death, waiting to be devoured by the devil on the prowl.
Luke 1:79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Here are some subtle signs that could mean that you are Spiritually Dead and require assistance from external sources:
Indifference or unresponsiveness towards those who try to offer a helping hand to lift you up from despair or testing times is a sure sign of a Spiritually dead person
- “I am doomed for life’’…
- “I cannot change, this is how I am’’…
- “God has punished me for my sins; nothing can change my status’’…
- “I have no future to look forward to’’…
No amount of cajoling or earnest attempt to put them back on track will work on people who are indifferent or non-responsive to external stimuli or help.
To get through the dead psyche of such individuals, one would require tremendous effort and patience. They keep brooding and mulling on their transgressions and experiences that have rendered them crippled in life.
It must be noted here that indifference brings us closer to the deadly sin of ‘SLOTH’ to a certain extent.
- Lack of sympathy or compassion towards others who go through tough times and suffering.
- Lack of understanding of what is right and wrong.
- Predisposition towards sin and lawlessness.
- Lack of conscience in taking the right decision on matters of morality and value systems
Hard-heartedness is akin to indignation towards the ‘Word of God’ and anything that conforms to the ‘Spirit of law’. Such people cannot discern what is right and wrong. They assess things based on their perception and understanding of facts, and take decisions on the grounds of their personal benefits and motives.
A hard hearted individual is blind to the sufferings and afflictions of fellow humans, and also do not think about the consequences of their actions.
Hard heartedness is parallel to “hopelessness’’ and should be dealt with great seriousness. A hard hearted person can easily turn cruel and gruesome, and is prone to committing heinous crimes in the long run.
Romans 3: 10-12-“There is no one who is righteous, not even one; there is no one who has understanding, there is no one who seeks God. All have turned aside, together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness.
Dislike for the word of God
An innate dislike to everything related to the Holy Scriptures and The Bible points towards Spiritual Death in no uncertain terms. This kind of existence is extremely detrimental to spiritual growth and can be a fertile ground for the evil one to lay siege to your soul.
Conforming to the word of God lets us decide what is right or wrong, or helps us resolve situations based on justice and righteousness. A healthy conscience prevents us from committing sin, even if we are under temptation or under an evil influence, which can slowly lead to Spiritual Death.
Lack of Repentance
Matthew 3:2-“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Lack of repentance for the sins committed, or even a lack of understanding that the act committed complies with the norm of a sinful deed, is a spiritual glitch that many of us deal with on a daily basis.
Most of us fail to remember that repentance has to be sort not only for the grave/mortal sins that we commit, but also for the mundane ones which we do repeatedly, despite having confessed of it several times throughout our lives.
A willingness to commit sin without reluctance, remorse, or shame, and a hesitancy to repent through confession before receiving communion can be easily seen by the long- winding queues in receiving communion, and the ever so meager line at the confessional.
From Death to Life
As human beings, we are all spiritually dead at various levels. We need to understand the importance of turning back to God in full vim and vigour, in order to enjoy the blessings and graces the Almighty Father has kept ready for us in heaven.
Ephesians 2 speaks about the death of mankind through sin and disobedience. We all live in the passions of the flesh and senses, and are children of wrath.
Yet, our God waits on us with a mercy that is unfailing and unconditional. He made us alive through His only son Jesus Christ, and has stored immeasurable riches in Heaven in the ages to come.
Let us all be saved by Faith, a precious gift from God that we need to explore more often and without delay…
Ephesians 2 :5 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ -by grace you have been saved-are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.