Part of the journey in seeking God’s will involves waiting to learn His will. Everything from small victories to a major breakthrough requires perseverance in the midst of anticipation and distraction. In some cases, we are awaiting an event that is commonly perceived as negative, yet it ultimately brings strong spiritual benefits. In fact, James 1:2-4 tells us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Although it sometimes feels like that that unwelcome health diagnosis, financial downturn, legal notice, relationship conflict, or even loved one’s death will consume us, it is actually an opportunity to experience God’s amazing grace. As the gospel of our own lives is written, the question becomes how to pray when we find ourselves in the midst of such a dry spell. Oftentimes, as the main concern saps our energy and attention, many of the offshoot branches of our lives shrivel up as well. For example, financial woes can lead to relationship conflict. Operating in a minimalistic survival mode changes our spiritual momentum. Without intending to, we may find ourselves in a far drier place than we ever imagined. It is difficult to focus on the goodness of the Lord when it’s challenging to focus at all. This is where the enemy does some of his best work: as the Accuser, he constantly reminds you of previous failures. Then he shifts into his Deceiver mode, working to discourage you by convincing you that your temporary pain is permanent. He knows that you are in a dry place and he is relentless, tormenting you with accusations, heightening your anxiety, and magnifying your fears. You are under attack which is NOT synonymous with being defeated. Evidently, the enemy has identified a worthy opponent! The enemy recognizes your strength, even when you don’t.
When you find yourself in a spiritual desert, you must:
- Saturate yourself with the truth of the Living Word. Read the Bible to remind yourself of God’s promises – His faithfulness. Don’t propose your own solutions, instead ask our Heavenly Father for wisdom. Proverbs 3:7-8 says “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”
- Submit to God. Acknowledge that you are trusting Him with the situation. Romans 8:28 tells us that “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Psalm 112:6-7 says “Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
- Thank God for his faithful and loving presence, even as He initiates a new (planned or unplanned) chapter of your life. Isaiah 43:19 says “See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”
- Remember who you are. You are a child of the Most High, more than a conqueror, fearfully and wonderfully made! Choirs and praise teams often sing praises to God, but did you realize that He sings over us? Zephaniah 3:17 says “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
I’m praying that you will recall this loving admonition and saturate yourself in the scripture to counteract your next dry spell!