There is a familiar phenomenon, I believe, that most of us would remember going through or, we know of someone who have experienced it at some point in their life, whether physically or spiritually. It is called fainting or medically referred to as ‘syncope.’ Others simply know it as a ‘block out or pass out.’ Whatever you’ve come to know it as, it becomes the subject of discussion of today for reasons which you will later find out.
[Stay with me, this is about one of my longest post.] 🙂
If you have never experienced fainting, then bless your dear heart, perhaps you never will or let me say, I hope you never do. 🙂
For me on the other hand, I know that I have fainted a couple of times, one too many I must add. Not in the physical sense, but spiritually.
It is never a nice feeling whenever it happens. I feel disconnected, more like unplugged from the source of power and my strength and I go from a steady rhythmic vibrant pace, full of passion and zeal, to a place where I am affected with a profound state of lethargy (brown out) and an abnormal lack of energy (burn out) that I begin to doubt myself and everything I’ve done and feel like I am good at nothing to move ahead. I sometimes want to give up.
What is fainting? (physical)
According to dictionary.com, to faint means 1) “lacking brightness, vividness, clearness, strength 2) feeble or slight 3) feeling weak, dizzy 4) lacking courage, cowardly, timorous.”
Further research has shown that fainting [syncope] is a sudden loss of consciousness from a lack of blood flowing to the brain. It usually follows a set pattern and is precipitated by a ‘flush’ [warm or hot feeling] followed by a sudden feeling of weakness, dizziness and exhaustion. Most fainting is triggered by what is called the vagus nerve that connects the digestive system to the brain and whose job is to manage the blood flow to the gut.
When food enters the system, the job of the vagus nerve is to direct blood to the stomach and intestines, pulling it from other body tissues, including the brain. But like anything else, sometimes the vagus nerve get a little bit excited and pull more blood than it should from the brain, which can then lead to a sudden drop in blood pressure which then leads to fainting.
It is important to note that any condition that causes a sudden drop in pressure amplify the effects of the vagus nerve and then one thing leads to another.
Other factors that causes fainting
- Dehydration leads to dizziness and fainting
- Blood pressure that is too low, shock
- psychological triggers eg. persons are not able to tolerate seeing blood or even the smell of it
- Anxiety, panic disorder and stress
- Drugs or alcohol
- Poorly functioning heart that beats too fast/slow and is unable to keep the pressure at the required level leads to fainting
Persons who have experienced fainting describes it as a sudden onset where everything is going well until suddenly there is this rush of blood that goes to the head and a strange feeling. Objects are not clearly visible and next thing is that they pass into semi-consciousness or unconsciousness.
Victims who are standing when they faint or ‘pass out’ will collapse to the ground. However, they usually wake up quickly after collapsing.
As Christians We Sometimes Get Fatigue and We Spiritually Faint
Do you see a link between someone who faints physically and one who faints spiritually? Well, in the Christian life, you will find a lot of things like that. Much like what I described in my opening about the way that I feel when I am getting to that point of fainting spiritually.
It really doesn’t matter how long you’ve been saved or what church you attend or even the office that you hold in your ministry.
Jesus’ disciples went along with Him until one day they fainted. On one such occasion they were unable to watch while He went off to pray. The bible says, And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40 ESV)
I point to this particular verse also that says, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” ( John 6:66)
Do you see a pattern here? The disciples went along for a while. No doubt at all, they liked what they saw for their future life. Why not? They were enjoying the perks. Everything was first class. They got to go just about every place that Jesus traveled to.
It required little or no effort on their part so they enjoyed the ride until one day, they figured “I don’t think this life is for me,’ so they fainted.
I mean, those disciples blew it! They faltered, they fainted and before you know it, the fell by the wayside.
Main causes of spiritual fainting
- Unbelief, fear and anything that causes us to let go of our faith result in fainting. “Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not.” (Genesis 45:26)
- Not holding fast to your trust, not in self or in man but in God
- Affliction, persecution and great trials and tribulations to which there appears to be no end in sight
- Church ‘hurt’ and rejection
- Sorrow is also a cause for fainting – “When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me.” (Jeremiah 8:18)
- Unrealized dreams and vision
Signs that you are spiritually fatigued and fainting (spiritually)
- You loose your passion, and you are no longer on fire for God
- You stop telling others about the gospel of Christ and are no longer winning souls
- You quit tithing
- You no longer go to church on a regular basis like you used to, until finally you stop going to church
- You loose that sweet spirit you once had
- Your prayer life is almost non-existent and you seldom read the bible
- You develop an ‘I don’t care attitude.’
- You doubt yourself and your ability
- You second guess your decisions
- You doubt God’s ability to keep good on His promises for your life
- You have a lack of motivation and vision for your life
- Everything seems to irritate you
- You feel like everyone is against you and you are frustrated all the time
Rules To Safeguard Yourself From Fatigue and Fainting
There is without reservation an unfailing remedy to which we must all adhere to that safeguards us against fatigue and fainting. It never fails to prevent when it is used in time, and it is a cure when we have fainted.
The psalmist David knows this all too well, because as much as he was a man after God’s own heart, by his own admission, he fainted along the way.
By the recalls of Psalm 27:13 he said, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord.”
Many in Christian[dom] experience fatigue and fainting when they do not hold fast their faith in God. Once that happens, it is difficult if not impossible, to experience the manifestation of God’s help and His goodness in their life. But here are a few suggestions that once applied to your life will greatly reduce the chances of us getting to the point of fatigue and spiritual fainting.
- Be very selective of what you take into your spirit by means of your ears and eyes. We are bombarded by so much negative things around us on a daily basis through TV, radio, internet, in the workplace all of which can bring about heaviness of heart and a faint spirit.
- Ensure you get proper rest and sleep and do make a conscious effort to take good care of your health emotionally, physically and spiritually. A mind that is consumed with the things of the natural cannot hear God in the spiritual.
- Eat healthy, nutritious foods and keep your body well hydrated through daily intake of the recommended amount of water.
- Use medication only as prescribed and by all means avoid the use of alcohol. Get regular doctor’s check-up for early detection of heart and other underlying problems that could lead to fainting.
- Set aside time each day for prayer, meditation and reading God’s word. Preferably, very early at mornings when your surrounding is very quiet. Allow God to guide you to a prayer partner where you can both pray with and for one another.
- Build community and fellowship with those who you are most comfortable with. While faith is necessary to guide you, fellowship with other believers is needed to guard you so that you not fall into apostasy.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40:31 KJV
Have you ever had a fainting experience (physical or spiritual)? What else would you like to see added to this suggested list that would reduce ones chance of becoming fatigued and fainting?
photo courtesy: Freedigitalphotos.net