If you watch television or keep up with entertainment news then you’re not doubt familiar with the website Netflix.
I saw an article about there being 19 different shows on Netflix about zombies or as they’re often called “the walking dead.”
Unfortunately, there are commercials for many of the TV series which I’m sometimes helpless to avoid watching.
These ads and programs do not create alarm in me but rather a deep concern for the walking dead.
I’m not talking about zombies. Well, at least the kind you see on television or in the movies.
Our dear friend, the late Bob Harrington, Chaplain of Bourbon Street used to say he had two fears.
One is to be buried but not dead and the other is to be dead but not buried.
My concern about zombies. . .or the walking dead. . . is not those physical beings but those who are mentally and spiritually comatose when it comes to the Word of God.
God does not want us living our lives in a near catatonic state where we’re just going through the motions. . .like spiritual zombies.
Here are seven characteristics of spiritual zombies to avoid.
1. Ignorance of what God knows about them.
You can hide some things from a lot of people. . .your spouse, parents, children, employer, friends or even your pastor. . .but you can’t know hide anything from God . . . because He knows everything about you inside and out.
John 10:14 says:
“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”
The word know is the Greek word ginōskō (G1097) and it means:
“to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of” but it also a Jewish idiom for sexual intimacy between a man and a woman.”
So I think it’s fair to say that in a Biblical sense, the word know means to have an intimate knowledge of and understand someone very well.
God knows when you’re doing your best or you’re just getting by.
God knows when you’re thinking things that no Christian should be thinking.
God knows when you’re committed to doing what’s necessary for a better quality of life.
Your Heavenly Father, the Good Shepherd, has an intimate knowledge and understanding of who you are. . He cares about every detail of every moment of your life without judging or condemning you.
Remember, the devil condemns, God corrects and he does it in love. God wants the best for you.
Sometimes circumstances may seem awful … but if they make you change your mind and quit doing negative things … it may save your life … or your career or your family. Get the picture?
That’s why Romans 8:28 in the New King James Version says:
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
The devil urges you to make a mistake so he can condemn you for it. Every Christian needs to clearly know the difference. That is why so many Christians feel God is a mean taskmaster instead of a loving Father.
2. Ignorant of the kind of life God wants them to live.
Have you ever noticed how zombies walk and stagger. . .never stopping or being satisfied? That’s certainly not God’s best for anyone.
John 10:10 says:
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. He wants to steal your potential, kill your dreams and destroy the opportunities God has set before you.
Say this with me. The enemy will not steal my potential, kill my deals or destroy the opportunities God has for me.
But Jesus came that you might have what John 10:10 in the New Living Translation calls a “. . .a rich and satisfying life.”
What is a rich and satisfying life?
Is living from paycheck to paycheck. . .a rich and satisfying life? Absolutely Not.
Is wondering where your next meal is coming from. . .a rich and satisfying life? Hardly.
Is wondering where your children are and worrying about the kind of things they’re doing. . .a rich and satisfying life: Certainly not.
Is spending more time in a doctor’s office or being sick . . . the standard for a rich and satisfying life? No way.
If you answered “no” to all four of the previous questions. . .then you’re not a spiritual zombie because you understand what it means to live what John 10:10 in the Message Bible calls: “. . . a more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
Question. . .ask God to show you TODAY. . .what you can do to tap into the rich and satisfying life He planned for you.
3. Never find any sort of contentment.
Several years back, I did a teaching entitled The Difference Between Contentment and Complacency. I strongly encourage you to visit www.haroldherring.com and check it out.
1Timothy 6:6 says:
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
The word gain in the Strong’s Concordance is the Greek word porismos (G4200) and it means:
I looked up gain at dictionary.com and it’s defined as:
“to get (something desired), esp. as a result of one’s efforts; to acquire as an increase or addition; to obtain a profit; to win; get in competition.”
Does that sound like someone just going along to get along? Does it sound like someone who’s just meandering through life without a purpose or goals for their future?
Of course not.
I think the Amplified Bible translation of 1Timothy 6:6 is the clearest:
“[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.”
Let’s also look at 1Timothy 4:8 in the New Living Translation which says:
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
Let’s look at the last part of this verse.
“. . . godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
The walking dead or spiritual zombies go to church. They may even be involved in church activities and give a little money here and there … but they are not interested in applying the Word in this life and fall apart when they hit a bump in the road. They can’t believe “it happened to them.”
4. Lack motivation to be more than they are.
If you’re not motivated to do better, . . .you never arrive at the destination God has for you . . . your destiny and purpose in this life.
I’m reminded of a story I heard years ago. . .in fact, more years than I care to remember.
A young boy promised his teacher he was tired of walking around in circles and he promised to pay attention in class. The teacher told the disruptive student to be quiet or she’d nail his other foot to the floor.
I realize that may be meant to be a poor joke . . .but it makes my point.
If you’re not motivated. . .you’ll spend your life walking around in circles. . .never getting anywhere or doing anything with the life God has given you and planned for you.
Spiritual zombies are not motivated by love. . .but real followers of Christ are.
Hebrews 10:24 in the New Living Translation says:
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”
Romans 15:14-15 in the Message Bible says:
“Personally, I’ve been completely satisfied with who you are and what you are doing. You seem to me to be well-motivated and well-instructed, quite capable of guiding and advising one another.”
Spiritual zombies are not motivated by faith. . .but real followers of Christ are.
Hebrews 11:27 in the Amplified Bible says:
“[Motivated] by faith he left Egypt behind him, being unawed and undismayed by the wrath of the king; for he never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible.”
Only those who see the invisible are motivated to do the impossible.
5. Compare themselves to other spiritual zombies.
I was raised in a Christian home. . .and for that, I’m eternally grateful. During my latter high school and college days. . .I had a tendency to compare my behavior to that of my friends. I reasoned that I was okay spiritually because “at least” I wasn’t doing what they were doing.
I came to realize that my standard for measurement should never be the attitudes and actions of others. . .but rather the Word of God.
2 Corinthians 10:12 in The Living Bible says:
“Oh, don't worry, I wouldn't dare say that I am as wonderful as these other men who tell you how good they are! Their trouble is that they are only comparing themselves with each other and measuring themselves against their own little ideas. What stupidity!”
We’re responsible for our actions and not those of anybody else.
I’ve heard it said over the years. . .that you can’t control what other people do but you can control how you respond and react to what they do.
Furthermore, you and you alone are accountable for your actions.
Amos 6:3 in the New Living Translation says:
“You push away every thought of coming disaster, but your actions only bring the day of judgment closer.”
Sadly, many believers will face a spiritual and eternal disaster because they’ve blamed others for what they did or didn’t do.
But more so … are we doing something to impact our community and the people in our circle of influence? If you don’t see something around you that you can make better, then you are not looking.
It reminds me of the church members who went to Every Church. There was Everybody, Somebody and Nobody.
When a problem surfaced in the church, Everybody thought Somebody would help out but Nobody did.
I think Revelation 3:2 in the New Living Translation offers us some pretty good advice.
“Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.”
Your actions reveal the depth of your faith and the strength of your character.
James 2:14 in the New Living Translation says:
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?”
Comparing yourself to anyone else. . .is truly the mark of a spiritual zombie.
In fact, it will not impress anyone … especially God on judgment day.
6. Wandering with the zombie swarm
This time of year it’s not difficult to happen on pictures or videos of a mob of zombies in advertisements. In fact, they make a great representation of folks who wander through life looking half dead from the kind of lifestyle they live.
It is easy to accept that certain people in our society choose to live that way … or maybe they just don’t know there is another way? Is the Holy Spirit prompting you to help them find the way to real life?
Exodus 23:2 in The Living Bible says:
“Don’t join mobs intent on evil. When on the witness stand, don’t be swayed in your testimony by the mood of the majority present.”
Wrong associations make it easier to compromise your principles.
There is a difference between compromising procedures on how something is done and compromising principles. We can compromise procedures but never the moral or ethical principles behind them.
Exodus 34:12 in The Living Bible says:
“Be very, very careful never to compromise with the people there in the land where you are going, for if you do, you will soon be following their evil ways.”
It’s important that you know who you are in Christ. . .where you want to go in life so you can avoid becoming spiritual zombies. You need to draw close to the kind of folks who can encourage you without ignoring those who are lost along the way.
Remember this, in any group . . . statistics show that conversations and attitudes generally fall to the lowest common denominator.
Are we joining in with the crowd or are we using the power of God to direct the crowd to a higher level of thinking?
We’ve always taught our children to be careful about associations . . .because people with negative and/or sinful behavior will try to bring you down to their level. . .they will never seek to rise to your level.
Bringing you down. . . is the only way carnal people can justify their behavior or feel good about themselves. They have no concept of what is fair and unfair not knowing the love of God.
That’s why the Word teaches against missionary dating. If the person who has eyes for you is not a Christian . . . close your eyes until you no longer see them as marriage material. If marrying an unsaved person worked, then the scripture wouldn’t warn us not to be unequally yoked.
2 Corinthians 6:14 says:
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers [do not make mismated alliances with them or come under a different yoke with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership have right living and right standing with God with iniquity and lawlessness? Or how can light have fellowship with darkness?”
A few verses later. . .2 Corinthians 6:18 in the Message Bible says:
“Don't link up with those who will pollute you.”
Another very clear reason is found in Amos 3:3:
“Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?”
Seek out. . .associate with. . . be blessed by people who know where they’re going and by people who value the Word of God and follow His divine directions.
Moral of this scripture. . .don’t marry. . .go into business with or make close friendships with people who are unsaved … or spiritual zombies who may go to church but just go along to get along.
7. Existing with rigor mortis of the mind
I began this teaching by quoting our friend, Bob Harrington, the Chaplain of Bourbon Street, whom as you remember said he had two fears.
One was to be buried but not dead and the other was to be dead but not buried.
While Brother Bob was alive… that is exactly what he was. ALIVE He loved being saved and particularly helping others get saved.
He was dead against what I call rigor mortis of the mind.
“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”
According to Strong’s Concordance the word sleepest means to fall asleep but it also means: “to yield to sloth and sin” and “to be indifferent to one's salvation.”
The Lord kept bringing the phrase “indifferent to one’s salvation” back to my remembrance and I was prompted to ask you this question.
What does it mean to be “indifferent to one’s salvation?”
Dictionary.com defines “indifferent” as:
“without interest or concern; not caring; apathetic; not making a difference, or mattering, one way or the other.”
The Message Bible gives Ephesians 5:14 even greater clarity and plainly outlines our responsibility as believers.
“Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light! So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!”
I think it’s pretty obvious from this scripture that God does not want us coasting through life just waiting for the rapture, our express elevator to heaven.
Hebrews 2:2 in the New King James Version says:
“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.”
God isn’t looking for spiritual zombies. . .who hear the Word in church and then drift away during the week to do their own thing. He’s looking for people who open to make the most of every chance they get.
So here’s the question. . .
Are you making the most of every chance you get?
If not, then why not?
If not, when and where are you going to start making the most of every chance you get?
Colossians 1:11 in the Amplified Bible says:
“[We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy.”
One more scripture.
2 Thessalonians 2:15-17 in the Message Bible says:
“So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high. Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter. May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.”
Interestingly enough. . .the word reinvigorate doesn’t appear in the scriptures at all. However, I’m mentioning the word here because I believe it describes the fire of God that lives in your bones.
According to Dictionary.Com, reinvigorate is defined as:
“to give vigor to; fill with life and energy; energize.”
And that, Child of God. . .will keep you from being a spiritual zombie.
One last thing, from now on. . when you see some goofy television about zombies you will think about spiritual zombies. . .and why. . .you’ll never become one.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS