Warm my cold and frozen heart—and kindle in my bosom,
a flame of holy fervor towards You.
Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever felt cold in your heart towards spiritual things? Toward God, his word, prayer, or worship? I have. It’s a frustrating place to find yourself in. And even though it is most likely our own fault for winding up in such a state, we usually have no idea how we got there.
There are a lot of reasons why our hearts often times become cold towards the things of God. Here are a few.
1. Our interest and investment in the world swells.
2. We focus more on ourselves and less on God.
3. We lose sight of the cross of Christ while focusing on our own “crosses” to bear.
4. We stop thinking about Jesus’ love for the unlovely. For us.
5. We limit the application of God’s word to others’ lives and problems.
6. Our priorities move out of alignment with God’s will.
We are plagued with an unstable heart that easily wanders, easily forgets, easily becomes discouraged or fearful, a heart that is easily bored and quickly cools off. But there is a danger in us staying in such a state. Christ will not have a bride who is lukewarm towards him ( Rev 3:14,15). He paid a dear price to redeem those who were enslaved to sin and who were lost without hope. Out of love he will discipline us with kindness and lead with a gentle hand towards a deeper love for him and holiness. But we should also be active in bringing passion and affection back into our souls.
Here are a few remedies, all grounded in one basic principle. We must position ourselves before the face of God, ready to receive the grace of God. There are a lot of ways to do this, but below are the ways I have found my own heart to be warmed by God’s grace and lit with a holy love. These are also helpful in preventing our hearts from cooling off and growing weak.
1. Read the Bible
We underestimate the power of God’s word. So even when we don’t feel like it we must read the words that will give us life, power, encouragement, wisdom and passion.
2. Pray with honesty and passion
We must be honest and open in our prayers, coming to the throne of God with all that is on our minds, from the smallest things to the largest concern. We should also get in the habit of writing down answered prayers this always brings encouragement.
3. Write down God’s blessings in your life
We need to learn to be more observant and watching for the things God is doing in our lives.
4. Study the Character of God
We will never be done knowing and learning about God because he is infinite and so is the study of his character. So lets dig in, take our time, and learn as much as we are able to in this life.
5. Study the person and work of Jesus
Nothing will fan the flame of love more than the study of the person of Jesus and his work for us on the cross. It truly is amazing grace.
Here are two good books to get started with.
The Man Christ Jesus by Bruce Ware
Jesus On Every Page by David Murray
6. Fellowship with others
I don’t know why we think we can or need to live our Christian lives alone. For some it may be pride while others may not want to be a bother to others. We need each other!
7. Read good Christian books
I am a big advocate for reading good Christian books. God has gifted many with a wonderful understanding of the Gospel and we can learn and grow from these godly men and women. We also need to challenge ourselves by reading books that force us to engage our minds. Here are some good ones to check into.
Disciplines of a Godly Women by Barbara Hughes
Note To Self - The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself by Joe Thorn
Because He Loves Me - How Christ transforms our Daily Lives by Elyse Fitzpatrick
Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges
Extravagant Grace by Barbara Duguid
“By the upright use of these means, you will find the Holy Ghost, as it were, stretch himself on your cold hearts, and infuse life and heat into you.”
Richard Steele, Remedies for Wandering Thoughts in Worship
Here is a question to consider:
“Is this a suitable return for that love which brought him down from his native paradise into our wretched world? That love which rendered him cheerfully patient of the shame, the curse, the tortures of crucifixion, and all the agonies of the most painful death? That love which makes him the sinner’s friend still in the courts of heaven, where he appears as our prevailing Advocate and Intercessor?”
We should never be satisfied with a stagnant faith or a bored spirituality. We must strive and pray and believe that God can and will give us zeal and passion for his word, for his work and for his Son.
"I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh."