We all experience stretches of spiritual drought at one time or another. And while we know these seasons of exhaustion, confusion, and feelings of emptiness are not uncommon, it can seem very lonely when you’re in the middle of the desert. I get it.
When I am down, when I am tired, and when I am not reading truth in God’s word, my thoughts plummet. Excitement shrinks, motivation dies, and I begin to aimlessly float downstream, along with the rest of this hurting society. I was there just a few weeks ago.
Even King David experienced some nasty, painful seasons of loneliness. He said, “My tears have been my food day and night,” and “My soul is downcast within me” (Psalm 42). See, we are not alone.
While God does not prohibit these seasons of grief or mourning, we have to be so careful to not stay there. Why? We’re on a mission. We have been given an assignment, and time is running out. Yes, our Lord loves us very much, though contrary to what mainstream media tells us, the mission we are on is not actually about us. It’s about glorifying His name. It’s about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
So, you’re in the desert. Your heart feels dry and cracked. You pray, and feel nothing. The sun rises, and you pull the blankets over your head. What do you do? It’s time to get proactive. It’s time to put your boxing gloves on.
We have to open God’s word.
If you want to get out of this funk and back to living whole-heartedly for Jesus, and yet haven’t opened a bible lately, then you haven’t started fighting yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you that the second you open the pages, life will magically jump back into your soul. But if your mind isn’t feasting on truth that literally never changes, then you might be feeding your mind with lies that will ultimately amount to nothing (Matthew 24:35). The only way we can combat the lies around us is by meditating on God’s word (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
We must remove our distractions.
We are bombarded with photoshopped lives, inflated dollar signs, and pornographic material almost every single day, telling us who we should be and where we should spend our time. Our eyes are sending messages directly to our deceitful and desperately sick hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). It’s no wonder we find ourselves in droughts.
If you’re listening to the voices in this world more than you’re actively listening to the voice of God, do whatever you need to do to remove those distractions from your life. Delete your social media accounts, get an accountability partner, or maybe there’s a show on television you need to take a break from.
I know this may sound “extreme” or “legalistic,” but this is your soul we’re talking about, this is the Great Commission that’s at stake here. What our eyes focus on is more damaging than we think. Don’t believe me?
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! Matthew 6:22,23
I love how John Piper paraphrased this verse:
“Make sure that your eye is good not bad. That is, make sure that you see heavenly treasure as infinitely more precious than earthly material treasure. When your eye sees things this way, you are full of light. And if you don’t see things this way, even the light you think you see (the glitz and flash and skin and muscle of this world) is all darkness. You are sleepwalking through life.”
Start praising today.
One of my favorite H.A. Ironside quotes says: “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”
Praising God for all that He has given you may not feel like something you really want to do in that moment. It may feel a lot like pulling teeth. But if you’re tired of where you are, please muster up a little strength to dig through your heart in search of true, deep gratitude.
Look at your family, gaze at the mountains, consider the roof over your head, or watch the sunset. If none of those things cause you to praise, remember the free gift of salvation given to you through the life of Jesus Christ. Remind yourself of the fact that all your sins are forgiven through Him so that you may be joined with your Father in Heaven for eternity. Let’s go!
Bless the Lord, oh my soul, all that is within me, bless His holy name. Pick up your mat and walk, friend, we have a mission to complete.