Jude 20,21—But you, dear friends, as you build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, expecting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.
How do you build yourselves up in faith when you feel spiritually dry? How do you pray in the Holy Spirit when it feels like everything coming off your tongue goes no further than the ceiling? How do you keep yourselves in the love of God when His presence seems hidden and His favor removed? How do you expect mercy when you feel undeserving? Can you relate to these questions? There are plenty of God’s children who if asked, would raise their hands and confess that they are battling spiritual drought and it is discouraging.
I had a conversation with a friend who shared that he spent eleven years as a missionary feeling trapped in a desert devoid of God’s presence. He came out of that stagnant season and has a vibrant walk with God but he could not explain why God led him through those years of dryness.
Colen, shared with me about a time where he too endured a period of drought. One day in the midst of staleness, he called a soldier to see how he was doing. It just so happened that this soldier answered his cell phone at 2:00 a.m. in Kuwait. Colen did not realize he had deployed from the U.S. When he asked his friend why he answered the phone when he should have been asleep the young man shared that he was going through a spiritual time of dryness and he really needed prayer and encouragement. Colen said that after praying with his friend and pouring into his life, he came out of his own desert. Helping someone else in similar circumstances revived him.
It is interesting to me what the Bible often doesn’t say. For example, Jude does not write, “as you build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirityou will be happy, blessed and full of vibrant life.” Jude does not explain how we keep ourselves in the love of God. Nor does he mention what could cause his readers to feel unworthy or doubt they would receive Christ’s mercy. What he does write is: “Have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; have mercy on others but with fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (vs. 22,23). In essence, we may be in the midst of spiritual drought but we minister to people regardless.
Sometimes I think we get so caught up in our feelings and perceived deprivations that we lose sight of God’s action verbs: build, pray, keep and expect. If you are in a drought, be like Colen; reach out and minister to someone else. You might be amazed at what happens. Remember that to be a disciple is to follow after Christ not because it feeds our appetite or makes us feel loved, but because this is what God asks of us. Tell Him about your dryness and then build, pray, keep and expect. Something to think about . . . in reveration.
We have to battle through our moods into absolute devotion to the Lord Jesus, to get out of the hole-and-corner business of our experience into abandoned devotion to Him.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©2015 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)