When I’m called upon to present a sermon, I always pray for guidance as to what will be presented on the appointed date. Even in the midst of prayerful consideration, sometimes the subject or topic turns out to be difficult to execute in the form of a message. More often than not, the messages that I have presented are related to issues of life or circumstances that guide me in my writing. This message is guided by more of a mindset than any one topic or issue. The mindset comes from being in a bit of a spiritual dry spell. It is a learning experience, and, as I have learned, it’s not a bad thing, either.
First, all of us have been through moments of what I would call a spiritual dry spell. It is not necessarily an experience that one would go out of their way to be in, nor is it something to look forward to. The dry spell is the perception that you are somewhere within a great moment in your spiritual life and a lousy moment where you experience all-out defeat. The phrase “dry spell” implies a period where there is a thirst for something, or a need for a quenching of that thirst. You can fill in the blank for what this means to you, but without putting words in your mouth, I describe a dry spell as a period where you’re moving through life, coming and going, but nothing extraordinary seems to be happening. Again, this is a perception more than it is reality. Things SEEM to be rather ordinary. If you were to stop and pay attention to the different elements of your dry spell, you might be surprised at what you find, or perhaps you may not even realize how you, in your ho-hum moments, are actually still performing in a Christ-like manner as others observe your behavior or actions.
If you get nothing else out of this, please note that a spiritual dry spell is an opportunity for growth and for learning…learning about yourself, learning more about Jesus Christ and the workings of the Holy Spirit, and learning about how can respond effectively when things don’t seem quite right. There’s no special trigger that causes these dry spells, but the foundation of a dry spell is a lack of spiritual moisture…not necessarily like that of a desert or wilderness experience, but it should be noted that the symptoms of the experience may be similar, which we will discuss in a moment. A dry spell may be, for example, evidentiary in your daily experiences moving so fast and furious that your body, and especially your mind are traveling faster than you can keep up with the pace of life. When this occurs, your spiritual experiences can get lost in all of the movement. Even the most saintly believers in Jesus Christ need to adapt to the daily challenges of life. Now, please understand that this is a unique experience for me, and it may not apply to everyone. In fact, a dry spell can mean different things to different people. What all believers do have in common, however, is that each of us has an understanding of what it is to have faith and trust in God through Jesus Christ. We also know the importance of trusting in the end results and not rest in the immediacy or difficulty of the moment. This is especially true for those of us when going through a spiritual dry spell. Faith and trust in Jesus Christ means that we serve a God that never changes. He is always consistent and always present in all areas of our life.
Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. 6Therefore, we may boldly say:
The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
The key to this verse is always remembering it to be the truth, even when things seem completely crazy.
If you haven’t already picked up on this, you may see that a spiritual dry spell is often rooted in the attitude of the host. Sometimes we’re not at our best when our attitude is not so great. It’s little wonder, of course, that your perception of the world changes when your attitude about life changes; therefore, a spiritual dry spell may require an attitude adjustment. That is not meant to be a negative comment, but the result is still the same…we need to be mindful of the things that affect our outlook on life and pay attention to what God has done to bring us where we are today, and that He is without limits and has no restrictions as to where we can go as long as we have faith and trust in Him and in His Word.
The LORD answered Moses, “Is the LORD‘s power limited? You will see whether or not what I have promised will happen to you.”
In fact, even in the midst of our dryness, our faith and trust in God surpass our limits of human reasoning.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not My ways.”
[This is] the LORD’s declaration.
Whether you are experiencing a spiritual dry spell or if things don’t seem to be going right, it is always a good idea to do a self-assessment as to what is not quite right with your attitude and take the steps to make it right. This would apply in virtually every area of our spiritual life. There must always be the focus and approach as to how we can best be obedient to God and His Word, and remain in His will.
First, it takes recognition that something needs to change in your daily routine. How often have you found that you have done something that is not necessarily helpful to you, and yet you continue to do the same thing from time to time. The only way that you will stop doing the same thing is to make a point to make a change. How true is this when it comes to sin, for example? The Holy Spirit will readily point out when you sin, and you will readily sin again unless you make it a point to pray for strength and seek the Lord to resist temptation to commit that sin.
I said, “I will guard my ways
so that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle
as long as the wicked are in my presence.”
10 I have sought You with all my heart;
don’t let me wander from Your commands.
11 I have treasured Your word in my heart
so that I may not sin against You.
12 LORD, may You be praised;
teach me Your statutes.
Making a change requires the need to bring oneself out of the malaise—and taking the action steps to implement the change.
Next, let’s examine those action steps that need to be taken. It’s important for each of us, once we recognize the need to change, to allow for the Holy Spirit to speak to you and allow Him to be your Compass—your Guide for direction. The steps that may occur for each individual may be different, but the essentials for each person involve the following:
- God’s Word in the form of daily devotions and readings
- Prayer to God to reflect upon what God is saying to you
In this, you will see the importance of making sure that your attitude is not being compounded with issues of sin or spiritual indifference. This goes back to what the verse of Psalm 119:11 presents as you allow God’s Word to move you out of your spiritual dry spell. Please note that this needs to be a consistent effort that should occur over a period of days, and perhaps even weeks, in order to truly see some progress.
Note that the devotions and prayer time force you to slow down long enough to hear God speaking to you through His Word. Your best “listening” experiences are when you are not being distracted by the noises of the world.
There are key elements of your action plans that will help you to overcome your spiritual dry spell. These keys to success are simple to remember if not always easy to implement:
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
24 They came and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to die!” Then He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves. So they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?”
Never underestimate the importance of faith in your action plans. Faith is what will move you forward. It is a healthy dependence upon Christ, and at the same time, you live day by day in confidence.
“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,” the Lord said, “you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.
1 How happy is the man
who does not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path of sinners,
or join a group of mockers!
2 Instead, his delight is in the LORD’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted beside streams of water
that bears its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.
7 Be silent before the LORD and wait expectantly for Him;
do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way,
by the man who carries out evil plans.
8 Refrain from anger and give up [your] rage;
do not be agitated—it can only bring harm.
9 For evildoers will be destroyed,
but those who put their hope in the LORD
will inherit the land.
In our effort to be patient and wait on the Lord, He knows that our weaknesses and intercedes for each of us. We are comforted in His ever-present nature.
For I know the plans I have for you” —[this is] the LORD‘s declaration—”plans for [your] welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
1 Peter 3:14-17
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed, 15 but set apart the Messiah as Lord in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 16 However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.
In conclusion, the ability to emerge from your spiritual dry spell requires the following:
- Knowing that you need to change your routine and take action
- Seek God’s Word and pray consistently for direction
- Respond to God’s direction with faith, focus, patience, and persistence
Your efforts will reap the rewards of God’s blessings as you strengthen your relationship with Jesus Christ, grow in Him, and learn from the experience.
Copyright © Melvin Gaines. All rights reserved.