Jeremiah 17:7-8 - Dry Spells


“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose confidence is in the LORD. For he will be as a tree planted by the waters, who spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes, but its leaf will be green, and will not be concerned in the year of drought. It won’t cease from yielding fruit.”
––Jeremiah 17:7-8

The Bible reminds us that God is present in times of drought and in times of plenty (2 Kings 3:17; Psalms 107:35; Isaiah 45:8; Jeremiah 17:7-8; John 7:37-38). But are you currently sensing God’s presence? Do you feel God’s voice is silent during a difficult time? You could be experiencing what is sometimes described as a “spiritual dry spell.” Here are some practical tips to help end your dry spell and allow God’s living springs to flow.

Confess your sins (1 John 1:9). Make sure you are doing nothing to block God’s voice. You may have allowed “little” daily sins (like gossip, envy, lack of charity, or pride) to creep into your life. Make a serious effort to identify these, confess them to God and ask His forgiveness.

Keep praying. When you feel distant from God, the first casualty may be your prayer life. But remember that God is worthy of your praise and worship even if you don’t get something in return. Your amount of communication with God should increase, not decrease. And don’t subtract any of those spiritual practices you once felt called to do. Wait until you have regained the peace of the Holy Spirit before you make a change.

Continue all the practices God has called you to. Continue to read the Bible (Psalm 119:105; 2 Timothy 2:15-16; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12). Continue to fellowship with other believers (Colossians 3:12-17; Hebrews 10:25). Continue to partake in the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Continue to be a witness to others (2 Timothy 1:8; Matthew 10:32; Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15; 1 Corinthians 9:16; Romans 1:16; Colossians 3:17). Continue to give of your time, your talents and your treasure (2 Corinthians 8:1-6; 2 Corinthians 9:10). And, of course, continue to pray (2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 145:18; Matthew 21:22; Matthew 26:41; Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; 1 Timothy 2:1-2,8).

Be inspired by your input. Whether you enjoy books, magazines, movies, television, music, games, podcasts, or other media, it is important to monitor and regulate your consumption of secular and sacred content. Steeping yourself in the secular can be detrimental to your faith. Make sure your diet includes steady doses of inspirational content, and biblically based content if possible. Inspiring content can challenge and encourage your faith.

Check for a physical cause. Not taking care of yourself can have serious negative effects on your spiritual life. If you don’t get enough sleep, if you don’t eat right, if you don’t exercise, and if you push yourself too hard, you are far more tempted to turn away from God than when you feel good physically. And if you do all that you should and still don’t feel right, see a doctor. Remember that your body is the temple for the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Recharge your batteries. Your personal energy can also be described as your drive, your focus or your passion. It is that which keeps you at your personal best and makes you the most productive. Recharging your batteries means to regain your energy after a period of hard work. Everyone recharges differently. An introvert might spend quiet time alone or with a few close friends or family members. An extrovert might take a class, go to a concert, or go to some other social gathering. Do you know what recharges your batteries? If not, find out! One way is to take a personality test. The two most notable are the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory (MMPI).

Seek professional help. This could range from talking with a spiritual director (someone who assists people seeking to grow their spirituality) to talking with a Christian counselor. Begin by speaking with a member of your church ministerial staff. They can direct you from there.

Go deeper. It may be that God is withholding spiritual consolation from you for a reason. Perhaps God wants you to strive after Him for His own sake and not for the joy you obtain from it. Perhaps God is telling you that it’s time to wade deeper into the spiritual waters and give more of yourself to Him.

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