12.4.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: A Spiritual Desert

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Whenever I open Facebook for the first time in the morning, I always go to “Memories.” The history nerd in me likes to see what I posted “on this day” in past years. Several times, I’ve read past posts (some of them up to 10 years ago) and realize I don’t even know that person anymore. I am definitely not who I used to be. Praise the Lord! It’s a chance to see how He’s been working on me and changing me. I’m still a work in progress (as I always will be) but it’s neat to see the ways He’s worked in my life. But it’s clear that my coffee addiction is still going strong.

For the last week, my memories have reminded me of some of the hardest days of my professional career. It was five years ago when I experienced the worst case of writer’s block I’ve ever had (and trust me—it’s a very real and painful condition). I couldn’t squeeze out a decent sentence if my life depended on it. I tried every recommended tip and strategy to overcome it, but found myself completely stuck. It was a “Wut r werds” phase of epic proportions and it was NOT fun. I think that lasted a good six weeks or so. It. Was. Terrible. For a girl who spends her days swimming laps in a pool of words, all I was able to do was doggie-paddle.

Sometimes, it feels like our faith gets stuck too. We feel caught in this weird place where we can’t seem to move forward. It’s a quicksand of the spirit… We don’t feel close to God and we can’t figure out what is going on. Our Christianity feels dusty and rusty. We might keep going through the motions and the world may not know we’re struggling, but inside, we have our inner TinMan trying to cry out, “Oil can!”

Proverbs 13:4 CSB says, “The slacker craves, yet has nothing, but the diligent is fully satisfied.” Before anyone gets their feathers ruffled—I’m not saying that those who are in this situation are lazy. But I want to focus on the last part—“the diligent is fully satisfied.” 

Those who are experiencing a spiritual drought need to be diligent. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Don’t fall for the mirage of empty promises, but keep pursuing the Living Waters that Christ offers to all who believe. Sometimes, it’s just about switching up a few habits, including our devotion routines. I changed mine this year and as much as I miss a couple of email devotions I used to read each day, I needed to do something new. And it’s been very rewarding.

We also have to look at those seasons and determine if it’s us. Is there something we need to repent from? Is there an unknown or unacknowledged sin we need to confess that may be keeping us from fellowship with God? All of that starts with prayer—a need for us to ask the Holy Spirit to show us what is going on… and then, be still and listen.

But don’t give up. Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (ESV).

But beyond being diligent, the best ways to overcome a spiritual drought is to praise God. Philippians 4:8 reminds us, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (ESV). And there is no one more worthy of praise than our God. So think about Him. Praise Him. Put on the worship music and sing His praises. And do it over and over again. Don’t stop. Be diligent.

He is faithful to bring us satisfaction if we will stay the course.

Today, as you pray, thank God for being worthy of our praise. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you if you’re in a dry season. Ask Him to help you praise, even when you’re discouraged and don’t want to try. Ask Him to help you stay diligent and trust Him to get you through the desert.

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