Spiritual Vertigo (Revisited)

vertigo_picNote from Dave: I wrote this devotional over three years ago. The date escapes me, but I thought I would republish it having had a bought with vertigo yesterday. We will return to our study from 1 Peter 2 on the four reasons to praise God next time…

I suffer from vertigo and it can be very debilitating; I had a bout of it yesterday. WebMD describes vertigo as “a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no actual movement. You may feel as though you are spinning, whirling, falling, or tilting. When you have severe vertigo, you may feel very nauseated or vomit. You may have trouble walking or standing, and you may lose your balance and fall.”

Yeah, that’s it!

Something more debilitating than physical vertigo is spiritual vertigo. What can cause spiritual vertigo, the feeling that your world is moving when there is no actual movement, as though you are spinning, whirling, falling, or tilting? The feeling you get when a great calamity befalls your world and your spiritual vertigo is so severe you are physically nauseated.

    “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:2-8)

Many Christians I know do not pray for patience because of this passage. They do not want their faith producing patience because they know that comes from trials. James says we are to count it all joy; that doesn’t mean we consider the trials in our life joyful; it means we are to be joyful in the midst of trials. Remember that faith is simply trust; who and in what do you trust? When times our tough, to whom do you turn?

Go back to the second sentence in that passage; James is teaching us that when we go through trials it tests our faith. And it is the testing of our faith that produces patience. Now we want off the merry-go-round by this point! But James is telling us that God’s real work does not begin until He has produced patience because if we allow it, patience will make us mature and complete Christians. How many Christians want that?

If you raised your hand and yet in your subconscious you’re scheming of a different approach to spiritual maturity, it may be because of a sin you refuse to let go. Or maybe it is an attitude you have towards someone or something. Perhaps it is something “good” that is robbing your time with the Lord. God will not let go of you if you are avoiding dealing with this issue in your Christian walk. Oswald Chambers describes it this way:

    “Not only must our relationship to God be right, but the outward expression of that relationship must also be right. Ultimately, God will allow nothing to escape; every detail of our lives is under His scrutiny. God will bring us back in countless ways to the same point over and over again. And He never tires of bringing us back to that one point until we learn the lesson, because His purpose is to produce the finished product. It may be a problem arising from our impulsive nature, but again and again, with the most persistent patience, God has brought us back to that one particular point. Or the problem may be our idle and wandering thinking, or our independent nature and self-interest. Through this process, God is trying to impress upon us the one thing that is not entirely right in our lives.”

Hmm… “God is trying to impress upon us the one thing that is not entirely right in our lives.”

What is that one thing in your life that is not entirely right? You know what it is, but as the line goes from a Caedmon’s Call song, “We won’t let go of the sin we hold so dear.” What sin is dear to you? I don’t mean you are consciously aware of your adoration for a sin, but I’m talking about that one thing, that one problem of which God will not let go.

Physical vertigo is caused by an inner ear problem; there is no real cure, only medicine to address the symptoms. Spiritual vertigo is an inner spirit problem; there is no medicine to address the symptoms, but there is a real cure. It is called surrender.

That’s right give up!

Allow God to have His way in your life. Allow the trial to come, to test your faith, to produce patience, to bring that mature and complete work in you.

It is time to stop your spirit from spinning…

In Christ
Dave
Ps. 37:4

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