It’s such a great feeling when you can feel the Lord’s presence. Nothing else in life seems to matter. I love the times when I am reading my Bible and I just don’t want to put it down. But, what about the times when you feel spiritually dry…the times when you feel like God is a million miles away? What do you do when you feel dry spiritually?
We all go through different “seasons” in our spiritual life, and we all experience dry times. Of course, we would all rather skip past those times, but God can use times in our life to strengthen our walk with Him. Here are a few things we should NOT do, but are tempted to do, when we experience spiritual dryness in our lives:
- Blame Others
When we are in a spiritually dry place, it is easy to become negative because many times the focus is on us. We have lost our zeal for God, so we are easily tempted into feeling like we aren’t being properly fed. “My small group is not talking about something that relates to me”…”My pastor is not feeding me properly”…”The worship songs just didn’t resonate with me today”…etc., etc., etc. We begin to blame others for the lack of zeal we have and may even begin to cause dissension by expressing our negativity to others. Instead of helping to make a situation better, we often make it worse by causing those in leadership positions to feel threatened and by causing others to think negative thoughts as well.
“…make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Philippians 2:2-4
“The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.” Proverbs 15:28
- Stop Reading Our Bibles
When we don’t feel that excitement anymore as we are reading the Bible, we can be tempted to just give it up all together. This is a scary place to find ourselves because we are no longer seeking the Truth, but we are allowing our own emotions to keep us away from God’s Truth. We become more and more immune to the sinful behaviors around us and it is harder to distinguish what is right and wrong.
“Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 15
- Compare Ourselves to Others
When we start comparing ourselves to others, we will encounter even more problems. If we look to another Christian who is full of passion for Christ, it’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking that God doesn’t care about us anymore. We begin to question God’s faithfulness instead of trusting Him to get us through this dry season. We start feeling sorry for ourselves and begin to paint an inaccurate picture of God in our hearts.
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” Galatians 5:24-26
“For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.” James 3:16
Instead, we should:
- Serve others
By looking for ways to serve others, we will take the focus off of us and put it where it should be: on Christ. By being His hands and His feet, we will begin to love others with His love. When I am in a spiritually dry place, I start to evaluate where I am spending my time. If my time is constantly spent on my family and my life, then I can see where the problem is: I am not being the hands and feet of Jesus. So, it only makes sense that I would experience dryness. It seems to me that most of the big complainers in our churches are usually those people who are only serving themselves. That is all they are concerned about. But, when we step out and serve others, it changes our whole attitude. We begin to feel a sense of purpose and develop a love for others instead of just loving ourselves.
“Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.” Romans 12:11
- Immerse Ourselves in God’s Word
While it may be tempting to just give up and stop reading our Bibles, we must push ourselves to read God’s Word even when we don’t feel like it. Even when we are reading our Bibles, we are still bombarded with temptations each day. Think about how much harder it will be to overcome those temptations if we are not in God’s Word. God reveals unconfessed sins in our lives as we read His Word. He reveals His character and helps us understand what is right and what is wrong. He gives us guidance. While we may not always feel like His Word is relevant to our present situation, God reveals Himself through His Word.
“But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.” 1 John 2:5
- Remember WHO God is
When we go through dry seasons in our lives, we should focus on the fact that God never changes. While our emotions are constantly changing, He is not. We must remind ourselves of God’s continual presence: in the past, the present, and the future. We should take time to praise God for character and spend time praying through this season. If we have wandered, we should take this time to come back to God and give Him our whole heart.
“Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” James 1:17
“Never will Ileave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Throughout our spiritual walks, we will all find ourselves in a spiritually dry season. But, what will we do with this time? Will we think only of ourselves, and, as a result, allow sin to take root in our lives? Or, will we use this time to remember WHO God is, to immerse ourselves in His Word, and take time to evaluate if we are serving others or only serving ourselves?