Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spiritual Dryness

We had a great discussion yesterday at staff meeting about spiritual dryness - what it is and how to diagnose it. We all agreed that we go through seasons in our walk with God where we hunger passionately for Him and really enjoy our time with him, and we also go through seasons where we are disciplining ourselves to spend time with God, our hearts are cold spiritually and our passion is gone. The big question for me is, "what do we do in seasons of spiritual dryness to get that passion and joy to return in our relationship with God?" Our team had a few ideas that I thought were helpful...

1) Be Honest With God. We need to start with self-awareness and honesty. For some reason, we tend to deny that we are in a spiritual rut until we get really desperate. We need to buck that trend and start with telling God the truth (since He knows anyway) - we are struggling spiritually and need His help.

2) Repent of Sin. Sometimes spiritual dryness results from unconfessed sin in our lives. God is convicting us by His Spirit and His Word, we are rejecting His leading, and the result is distance in our relationship with Him. We need to ask the question, is there sin in my life that is keeping me from being close to the Lord?

3) Reconcile Relationships. Strange as it sounds, we all agreed that broken horizontal relationships can negatively impact our vertical relationship with God. If we are having a hard time connecting with God, it may be the Spirit telling us that we need to get right with another person (spouse, friend, child, anyone) first.

4) Meditate on Truth. Rather than thinking that we need read something new in Scripture or listen to a new sermon for that spiritual spark, sometimes we just need to meditate on what we already know to be true. This is especially important for those of us who are readers and think that we just need one more insight. We may just need to reflect on the cross and the love of Jesus Christ.

5) Tell Someone. Spiritual leaders struggle greatly with telling someone else about their spiritual dryness. Maybe because we feel the pressure to always be "on" or maybe just because we are full of pride and hate to admit that we are not craving God as we should, we tend to hide our dryness behind religious language. We should reject this as vanity and tell someone close to us that we are dry spiritually so that they can pray for us.

6) Pray. In the final equation, only God by His Spirit can grant us the grace we need to pursue Him with all our hearts. Knowing this, we should ask God for anything that is lacking in our walk with Him. He is faithful and will answer.

Hope that helps when you are in that dry place. I've been there many times, but God has always been gracious to lead me out. May He do the same for you -

1 comment:

Brent said...

One practical thing I'd add to the list: Check your diet, exercise and sleep patterns.

Our bodies are much more precision machines than we realize (and the older I get the more I understand that) and sometimes the simple explanation is that our funks may have more to do with diet than demons or dryness...