Have you ever sat in church and watched those around you getting blessed, while you felt nothing? They cry; they pray; they worship with tremendous feeling. But you feel dry—a long way from the presence of God and have no great yearning to read the Word. You begin to wonder if there is something wrong with your spiritual life.
During these times of dryness you barely read the Bible, in fact, if you do read it, it is only through a sense of obligation and not desire. When you are dry and empty, you feel little compulsion to pray.
Now if anyone asked you, you might know your faith is intact, and your love for Jesus is still strong, but you just don’t feel moved on—at all. You start to wonder what happened to that zeal and excitement, the passion you once felt?
I believe that all true believers experience dry spells at various times in their Christian life. It is a natural period where the Lord withdraws himself and forces you to “look for him.” Even Jesus felt the isolation—when he cried aloud, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” As a matter of faith, I believe that as our Father begins to call us closer, he gives us, well, absent of a better word for it, an instinct, to draw even closer; to become more perfectly united to him.
There is something inside of us that knows we haven’t been created for amusement or the trivial desires of the world, but we have an end that centers in our Lord. It’s a yearning and a desire. As I said, this is an instinctive desire, it is a pull toward the Holiness of our Father. It is a loving impatience to return to our source of origin. But sometimes it simply isn’t there . . .
Some writers compare this to a river. There are rivers that flow very slowly. Others flow much faster. Another that moves so fast it’s like a torrential rain flooded it’s banks as it rushes to it’s destination. They are almost mad, headlong streams. It is so treacherous only the most experienced canoeists can ride the rapids. Then again, sometimes, the river is barely a trickle that merely drips over the rocks. The riverbed is dry. That’s what I’m talking about here. What should we do to overcome this spiritual dryness?
First, realize that it can happen to any believer, and it is simply the Lord calling you to a deeper trust in Him. A trust that no longer depends on the right circumstances and atmosphere to worship, but depends on faith alone. But regardless how you feel about it, you must maintain a life of prayer! I know sometimes it may be difficult, but nothing dispels dryness and emptiness quicker than a time shut in with God. Putting off that date with God in His secret closet causes guilt. We know that our love for him should lead us into his presence, but sometimes we get busy doing so many other things—time slips away, and God is left out.
Oh sure we might throw in his direction a whole bunch of “thoughtless prayers.” But nothing can take the place of that secret closet—with the door shut—praying to the Father in seclusion. Sometimes you need to spend time laying face down weeping.
I encourage you to come boldly into his throne of grace—even when you have sinned and failed. He forgives—instantly—those who repent with godly sorrow.
Second, don’t be afraid of a little suffering! Christ’s resurrection was preceded by a short period of suffering. We do die! We do suffer! There is pain and sorrow.
We don’t want to suffer or resist or be hurt! We want painless deliverance! We want supernatural intervention. “Do it, God,” we pray, “because I am weak and always will be. Do it all, while I go my way, waiting for a supernatural deliverance!”
But, thank God, suffering is always that short period before final victory. “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10).
Father, I am in the midst of a desert. I need the water of your Spirit. Fill my heart with your joy. I don’t know why I am discouraged, Why my heart is so sad. This morning I choose to put my hope in you! I choose to praise you again—you are my Savior and my God! Come again to be my comfort and my joy (Psalm 42:5-6).
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I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.