ODJ: Spiritual Decay

July 12, 2017 

READ: Deuteronomy 30:1-20 

The Lord your God will delight in you if you obey his voice and keep the commands and decrees written in this Book of Instruction, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul (v.10).

Recently I heard a sermon that touched on the second law of thermodynamics. I now understand a scientific principle and have been reminded of an important spiritual one!

The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy (disorder) always increases with time. In a closed system—a system with no outside influence preventing deterioration— quality always worsens as the clock unwinds. In the same way, when our Christian lives become disengaged from actively seeking God, we’ll naturally descend into increasing spiritual chaos and decay.

The story of the Israelites provides a powerful example of this principle. The Israelites were regularly warned of the consequences of excluding God from their lives (Leviticus 26:14-46; Deuteronomy 28:15-68). They persisted in their rebellion, however, which ultimately led to spiritual decay and judgement through exile in Babylon (Deuteronomy 30:1). Only a genuine heart change and a commitment to reengage fully with God by “[turning] to the Lord [their] God with all [their] heart and soul” could restore their fortunes and enable them to live abundant lives (v.10, also vv.2-6). When we retreat from fully following God, we gradually slip into spiritual decline; but when we live connected to Him, we stem the destructive slide and enjoy a grace-filled life (vv.11-20).

In our fallen nature, we have a tendency to drift away from God. Our noisy world and busy schedules often drown out His warnings of spiritual drift and decay. But when we connect to the influence of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26), we’re able to steer clear of spiritual decay and keep growing in our walk with God. The Spirit provides what we need to continue to grow and mature in Jesus!

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day plan: Luke 8:22-56

Read Hebrews 2:1-3 and be challenged to open your heart to the faith-sharpening influences that God has given us so that we may steer clear of spiritual drift. 
What causes you to drift towards spiritual decay? What can you do to avoid drifting away from God?