As we wrap up our Real Faith series of blogs, I wanted to write something very practical on something that is very real in the lives of believers. You'll remember the adage "Down in the Dumps" - known to mean depressed or unhappy. Well, it is from this saying that I named a common Christian-life experience - I call it "The Spiritual Dumps".
We all get in the "spiritual dumps" from time to time. Let's face it, life can throw some real curve balls at us, our priorities can get out of order pretty quickly, and our schedule can get overloaded. Before you know it, you can find yourself going to church and even reading your Bible but the fact of the matter is: there is no passion in your walk with Christ - translation - you are in a spiritually dry place.
While it is freeing to acknowledge the reality of The Spiritual Dumps.
The challenge is what to do about it.
Here are three keys to getting out of the spiritual dumps.
KEY NUMBER ONE:
Submit your heart condition (a spiritually dry season) to the Lord.
Job 22:21 says: “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way, prosperity will come to you.” Job knew the power of this. If anyone could relate to dry a season, Job certainly could. He lost it all and without question, he had questions. What this scripture is telling us is to tell Christ openly and honestly where you are. Christ loves it when we submit ourselves to him in honesty and authenticity. Tell him how you are feeling because when you do, his peace and presence are only moments away.
KEY NUMBER TWO:
As you submit to Christ the realness of your heart,
you have to surrender it to him.
Don't try to get out of your spiritual dry place by yourself. Let Jesus have the lead. So many times when we get in a spiritually dry place, we think we have to somehow "make it happen" and so we go into performance mode. Read the Bible more, pray more, serve more, give more. While there is nothing wrong with any of this, the reality is this - performance without relationship never works. As I wrote in my book for men: Often Told, Rarely Trained “You see, the more a man desires to know Christ, the more righteousness will be pursued and sin confronted. So don’t get caught up in following rules, get caught up in simply following Jesus. On-fire, passionate, zealous, sold-out men of God know that their God-given identity starts with a desire for intimate contact with Jesus Christ.”
If you want to get out of your spiritual dry season, work on your intimacy with Christ. Let His presence bring the hope, the healing, the restoration, and the new life you are looking for. More of His presence equals more spiritual passion. It's intimacy over activity.
KEY NUMBER THREE
Be still before the Lord.
Sometimes I wonder - do Christ's followers really know how to do this? Perhaps you do, but if you don’t, try the following exercise. Take 15 minutes of uninterrupted time with the Lord every day. Consistency and commitment are key to getting out of your spiritual dump.
First, get in a quiet place where you will have no distractions, no emails, no text, and no computers. Put your phone on “do not disturb”.
Then, turn on some worship music and just sit there, be still before the Lord and enjoy his presence through worship music.
Then say to the Holy Spirit speak Lord for your servant is listening. As you sit there, listening to what the Lord speaks to your heart, be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).
Stay in this moment, get out a journal or notebook and write down single words or sentences about what is happening in your heart.
Then tell the Lord how you feel and what you are facing. Don't tell him what you need or what you want him to do, tell him who He is to you. Begin to thank Him for his faithfulness. Call to mind the times you know He has been with you or moved and provided on your behalf.
You see, something supernatural happens and our lives experience a shift when we begin proclaiming His majesty, sovereignty, goodness, and faithfulness. Our hearts awaken when we turn our gaze from our problems and begin to gaze on Christ. This is why the greatest benefit to being still is the joy of God’s presence. Being still before the Lord is about presence, not provision.
The more you submit, surrender, and are still before Christ, the more you will see your heart awaken and your spiritual dry season end.
After all, Christ promises, if you seek him, you will find him, if you seek him with all of you (Jeremiah 29:13).
So friends, go pour some water of the Holy Spirit on your dry season by submitting your heart to Christ, share the true condition of your soul, and seek his presence with all of your heart. We believe, when you do, the fresh, living water of his presence and Spirit will satisfy you, just as Christ promised the woman at the well, who would never thirst again.
Dale and Jena Forehand are the founders of Stained Glass Ministries a non-profit 501 C3 ministry. They offer conferences and resources to build real relationships.
To find out more about their amazing grace story of marriage, divorce, and re-marriage to one another visit their website www.daleandjena.com.
You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram at @daleandjena