Maybe it is just me, but there have been times when I would be sitting in church and watching folks getting blessed, encouraged, Holy Ghost excited, but there I was, dry and empty and nothing? They would cry; they were excited to pray; they were overwhelmed with worship. But I felt thirsty and a long way from the Lord’s presence and had no significant unction to read the Word. I began to realize there was something wrong with my spiritual life.
During those times of dryness, I would barely read the Bible, in fact, if I did read it, it was only through a sense of obligation and not any desire. As a result of that dryness, I had little compulsion to pray. I mean, why should I? I wasn’t even sure that it would do any good.
Oddly, if anyone had asked me, I would have told them that my was intact, and my love for Jesus was still active, but I just didn’t feel moved to jump up and down and rejoice! I began to wonder what happened to that zeal and excitement I once experienced, the passion I used to feel?
Yeah, I was just sharing my own experiences, but I believe that all true believers experience dry spells at various times in our Christian lives. It is a natural period where the Lord withdraws himself and forces us to “look for Him.” Even Jesus felt the isolation; He cried aloud, “Father, why have you forsaken me?”
Here’s the thing. As a matter of faith, I believe that as our Father begins to draw us closer, He gives us, well, absent of a better word for it, an instinct, to bring into a more intimate relationship; to become more perfectly united to him.
There is something inside of us that knows we were never created for amusement or the trivial desires of the world, but we have an end that centers in our Lord. It is a yearning and 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 just isn’t there.
Some writers compare this to a river. Some rivers flow fast, almost as if a torrential rain had flooded its banks as it rushes to its destination. They become mad, headlong tumultuous storming rivers. It is so treacherous only the most experienced canoeists can ride the rapids. Then you have rivers that flow slowly, barely a trickle that merely drips over the rocks. The riverbed remains dry and unable to sustain life.
That is what I am talking about here. What should we do to overcome this spiritual dryness?
First, realize that it can happen to any believer, and it is merely the Lord calling you to a more profound trust in Him. An assurance 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. When you put off that date with God in His secret closet, it will bring about 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 our Father in seclusion. Sometimes you need to spend time laying face down weeping.
I encourage you to come boldly to 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: “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” (I 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.