Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Post-Event Crash

Have you ever had this experience?

You go to a Christian event. Maybe it's a Bible study, a big weekend conference, a church service. You get all pumped up, feel so encouraged spiritually, your heart is stirred to serve the Lord, you see all your favorite friends...

Then you get home. And you CRASH. 

You're tired, feeling spiritually dead, and tragically you turn to any number of idols to give you comfort: food, video games, anger, porn, or just dark discouragement. "Dang it!" you think. "All that great stuff I learned, and now look at me. Not applying one word of it! Pathetic..."

This experience is far too common among Christians to just be a fluke. It's almost a guarantee that after you have a big spiritual high you face the temptation of a big spiritual crash. It happened to Elijah after Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18... he was in utter despair and felt alone. It even happened to Jesus after his baptism... He faced 40 days in the wilderness tempted by Satan, in Luke 4.

Here are three practical suggestions for how to turn to the Lord and beat the post-event crash:

  1. Anticipate the Crash: Recognize and anticipate that you WILL crash after the event, so don't be surprised by it. Consider the story of Jesus in Luke 4, Satan attacked him at His weakest state. Expect it. Plan for the temptation. Text your friends for accountability. Set up safe-guards. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2:11 that we are not ignorant of Satan's schemes.
  2. Remember the Gospel: When you're crashing, you're coming off of a high that you couldn't sustain. You start to feel the distance between your actions and what you were just learning about. Normal life starts to set in. You have laundry. And those unfinished dishes you left. So what you had felt at the event (excitement, "yeah I can do this!") has now turned into discouragement ("I'll never be able to do this...") And just there, you've forgotten the gospel. See, here's the great news! It's not up to you. Yes you're a hypocrite, yes you're a failure, but Christ came into the world to save sinners, hypocrites, and failures. Come to Jesus, look to His forgiving wounds, cling to His cross, and receive the new life that He gives by GRACE. 
  3. Keep Fighting: As you remember the joy-filled gospel of God's grace, you will become motivated and hopeful. "God can change me!" So get some sleep, write down some of your applications from the event, and then get up tomorrow morning ready to fight for God's glory. Whatever God was stirring in your heart... DO IT.

May God strengthen you and be your comfort, in the darkest of times.
The Relentless Fight