Seasons of spiritual dryness can be exhausting, awful, and heart-wrenching. I’ve had days when approaching the Word and spending time with Daddy God felt like work, and I’d struggled to feel His presence and His love for me. During those times, I’d wondered, “Daddy God, where are You? Where have You gone?”
Sound familiar? You are not alone. Every Christian goes through phases of wandering through spiritual deserts. Dry seasons can be caused by hardship, half-heartedness, sin, or simply being stuck in a rut. What’s worse is we are often too embarrassed to admit that we are going through a dry season! And when we see Christians around us thriving, their joy may lead us to feeling guilty and cause us to wonder if there is something wrong or lacking within us.
How do we navigate this?
Here are 5 habits that have helped me through my dry seasons:
Running has been my primary means of relieving stress and ending the day right and processing the different seasons of my life. Day after day, kilometre after kilometre, I pound the pavement.
Eric Liddell once said, “When I run, I feel His pleasure.” I never understood it at first; why would anyone? Breathlessness during and after any runs could potentially imbue someone with the desire to cuss. But when Circuit Breaker was implemented in Singapore, I started to run more than I used to. I soon found that running amidst nature was a very spiritual experience. With worship songs playing through my Airpods, it drew me into a place of listening and praying. It opened me to God’s voice and presence unlike any other time.
Some days when I was too tired to finish the last few steps towards my 10km target, His power worked in and through me, and we conquered the run together. It wasn’t just running. It was running with Him; dwelling in His presence and letting Him guide me through each run.
Shocked by this? If we don’t feel God’s presence in a spiritual drought, how then do we pray with the confidence that God will answer them? It is important to remember and remind ourselves that the moments we feel most spiritually dry are often the moments Daddy God is positioning us for the greatest growth.
Sometimes when I’m out on a run, I get prompted by the Spirit to pray for someone whom I had just run past, and I respond accordingly. I’d pray for the ones I love, the ones I’d lost, and the ones on the news whom we know need God’s guidance.
You see, even during your driest spiritual seasons, you are still living for Him. Praying for others helps us think beyond ourselves and grow in compassion for others. Also, as it says in Revelation 5:8, prayers are a sweet-smelling incense that please Him.
(Also, exercise is one way we steward this temple of the Holy Spirit.)
We spend so much time watching shows on Netflix, listening to songs that don’t build us up spiritually, and consuming frivolous content on social media. Why not intentionally cultivate a habit of switching to sermons instead? Technology is so advanced that so many resources are readily available on Youtube, Spotify, etc. God’s Word can literally be heard anywhere and everywhere now!
While I believe the pastor in your home church is anointed, it would also be great to search out for other pastors and benefit from their anointing as well. Sometimes we just need to hear the word of God from a different voice and vary our diet, you know?
Here are links to some whom our team members listen to: Ps Mike Bickle, Dr Michael Brown, Christine Caine, Francis Chan, Ps Bill Johnson, Allen Hood, Ps Bianca Olthoff, Ps Joseph Prince, Ap Joshua Selman, Kris Vallotton, Ps Steven Furtick, Dr Cornelius Quek.
There is something phenomenal and powerful about music. I’m not sure about you, but I personally find worship songs very calming (both physically and spiritually). It could be a tough day at work, or just an “I woke up on the wrong side of bed” kinda morning; worship songs almost never fail to lift my spirits up!
We humans tend to have the ability to memorise melodies and lyrics better than static words, and — because worship songs often speak of God’s grace, God’s goodness, and God’s love for us — imagine what listening does to our spirits! As we spend time worshipping Him with music, let us also intentionally meditate on the lyrics. Let His love flow in and through us, and simply surrender all to Him.
An upsetting event just happened; you pick up your phone and send a text message to your best friend. You’re having lunch, you pick up your phone, snap a picture, and text it to your best friend. You’re feeling overwhelmed, you pick up your phone and pour out your heart to your best friend. Do you see what I’m getting at?
In John 15:15, Jesus called you His friend. So why not update Him the way you update your best friend/partner as you go about your day, too? He wants to be a part of your daily life, every teeny tiny bit of it! The aspects of life you’d think He wouldn’t want to be involved in are the very things that He definitely wants to be involved in! Even better, when you update Him about your sorrows/troubles/frustrations, He will actually be able to help you directly! (Unlike your human friends.)
But how could you do it? I use Telegram’s Saved Messages — my own private chat with Jesus. And let me tell you this... It has changed my life completely!
I’ve found myself to be more carefree because any time the devil tries to attack my mind, I dump everything in there, leaving it into His hands, knowing for sure that He will take care of everything for me. Whenever something great happens, I share the good news with Him first, just as we would with a best friend. Whatever may happen — big or small, happy or sad, good or bad — I get to share it with Him first before anyone else! How awesome is that?
It has allowed me to draw closer to Him day by day, because I’m no longer waiting till the hour before I sleep to recap my day with Him, and to relive my day (potentially feeling any sadness/anger all over again). I am living in the presence with Him, I am conquering everyday with Him, I am doing everything with Him! It’s not just a religion, it is a relationship with Jesus.
So, what are some of the things that have helped you get through your spiritually seasons?