Psalm 42 & 63 “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” ~ Psalm 42:1-2a We’ve all been through a time where our faith seems as dry as desert air. In these seasons, we may feel as though God is far away. We may feel as though our prayers stop at the ceiling and our Bible reading seems rote and unproductive. There are many things that cause these sorts of dry spells, and it’s prudent for us to understand what may be causing our dryness. Let’s discuss some of the most common reasons for spiritual dryness. First, there could be an issue of unconfessed sin. It is true that our sin separates us from a loving and gracious God. However, even those whose sins are forgiven in Christ are susceptible to the effects of unconfessed sin. The Bible says that Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy, and He does this by allowing selfishness to creep in, and sin easily entangles us and keeps us from drawing close to the Lord. If you’re in a dry spell, spend time in prayer and ask God if there is anything in your life you need to confess to him or someone you trust. If so, leave it at the alter of the Lord and repent. A second reason for spiritual dryness is a distracted mind. With everything going on in our world today, it’s easy for our minds to drift into anxiety mode. When this happens, it becomes easier and easier to do things like planning out a busy day, thinking of everything you have to do, or to simply not be able to focus at all. When this happens, we must find a way to settle our minds and focus in on god’s Word. One thing I like to do is to keep a notebook handy during my devotion time. If I think of something that needs to get done, like a phone call or an errand, I write it down so that I can remember later. If anxiety begins to creep in, I immediately stop and pray that God would calm my spirit so that I may focus on Him and His Word. Lastly, sometimes I move away from what is normal in my devotions and do something out of the ordinary. This may mean spending extended time in prayer and reading a short passage, even one verse, for the day. It may also mean picking up a different devotion or beginning in a new section of the Bible. I’ve found all of these techniques helpful in the past. Finally, lack of community can cause our faith to wane. This is ultra important to consider in light of our social restrictions today. We must work hard to be in constant contact with other Christians who can encourage us, challenge us, and pray with and for us. In the same way, we should be encouraging our friends, challenging them to continue their walk with Christ, and praying for them as well. Spiritual dryness can be a product of our lack of Christian community, which is a well we should drink from often.
There are many other reasons for spiritual dryness to set in. The most important thing to do is to drink more often. If your Bible reading is dry, read more. If your prayer life is stale, pray more. If Christian community is lacking, reach out more. If you lack joy in your walk with Christ, praise Him with a heart of thankfulness more. Remember that Christ lives in you, and this is just a season. Start fresh today, press in all the more, and continue to abide in Christ. Soon enough, you will discover that Christ was there all along, and that He was working this out for your good.