Monday, September 29, 2008

AT THE WELL...spiritual dryness

  • Today, we are gathering over AT THE WELL with our lead host Heather from emotional purity. To start us off in the the discussion of SPIRITUAL DRYNESS, Heather has posed two questions to us today to consider:

    1. Have you noticed a pattern of when you find yourself spiritually dry?

    2. What do you do to move quickly through that season of dryness?

When I think of the word "dryness", I automatically think of the "wilderness". The wilderness is a place that is dry and deserted. A look at Webster's definition:

WILDERNESS (wul--der-nis) n. 1. An unsettled , uncultivated region left in its natural condition esp: a.) a large wild tract of land covered with dense vegetation or forests. b.) an extensive area, as a desert or ocean, that is barren or empty; waste. c.) a piece of land set aside to grow wild.

We all, as Christians, desire to remain on the high peak when it comes to our emotional and spiritual well being. Nobody desires to be in the valley when we can be high up on the mountaintop! Jesus was pursued by the tempter and we too, have an enemy that pursues us.

In the book of Mark, we read how Jesus goes immediately from a mountain top spiritual experience to the lowest of valleys.

MARK 1:12-13"The Spirit immediately drove Him out into the wilderness. (13) And He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And He was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to Him."

In this passage, a strong word is used to describe the Spirit's leading of Jesus into the wilderness ~DROVE~. The spirit of God who had just come on Jesus in a special way, now immediately compels Jesus into a place of danger. The Spirit did not lead Jesus into temptation, but He did lead Jesus to a dangerous place that temptation was found.

WOULD GOD EVER DO THIS TO US?

WOULD GOD EVER LEAD US TO A PLACE OF DANGER FOR THE SAKE OF THE GLORY OF GOD?

I think the answer would be YES. The safety of our family and friends should be of utmost importance on our prayer list, but, we must understand that God's glory comes first to God. Without Jesus being confronted by Satan in the wilderness, we would find it difficult to understand Christ's victory over sin and death.

IS THERE A PATTERN FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL DRYNESS?

Mark reminds us of the incredible journey that these 40 days in the wilderness was for Jesus. In the wilderness, there were wild animals. When you think of animals, I hope you are not thinking of the Disney characters that sing and dance and are actually gentle. These animals were wild! The Bible tells us that David fought off bears and lions. This WAS the wilderness that the Spirit led Jesus to. In addition to the wild beasts that Jesus must have encountered, the environment He found Himself in was extreme: it was hot, it was dry, there was no shelter, no bed or covers. There were no weapons or tools for protection or for survival. Jesus was alone and in constant danger.

WHAT DRIVES YOU TO YOUR WILDERNESS?
(what is your pattern?)

  • Are there animals that you wrestle with?
  • Does your spirit feel dry?
  • Do you feel unprotected, unloved?
  • Do you feel defenseless?
  • Do you feel alone?
~ When we find ourselves in this place of "wilderness", what do we do?

~ How do we move from it?

If "wilderness" is defined as a place that is barren, empty and wasteful. Described as a place that will grow wild - this is NOT a place that a Christian wants to remain. When Jesus was in the wilderness, it was incredibly amazing all that He had to endure. He also was fasting during this time. If you have ever fasted...then you know Jesus was constantly hungry and He must have been growing weaker physically day by day.

Can you imagine...the danger of the wild animals, the hot and dry climate, and becoming weak from hunger - the entire time, the wilderness presented danger and in the middle of ALL of this - Jesus was being pursued by the most fierce enemy and adversary ever. Satan was relentlessly attacking Jesus through constant temptation.

HOW DO WE REGAIN OUR STRENGTH?
HOW DO WE MOVE OUT OF THIS DRY LAND?

Mark tells us that angels were with Jesus while in the wilderness, ministering to Him. Even while Jesus was in the wilderness, He was not alone! God was there with Him, ministering to Him and equipping Jesus for His mission.This is the hope we have when we find ourselves in a dry place spiritually.
  • We are not alone!
  • God is our strength!
  • God will not lead you to the front lines of battle and then leave you there alone to fight!
There is a tempter who is pursuing us - but, Christ has the power over sin. He is the victor! Satan WILL be defeated!

It is my desire to NOT be like the Israelites (found in the book of Exodus) and wander for 40 years. If you find yourself in a dry spot, in the wilderness - seize the mission that God is leading you to!

GOD WILL MINISTER TO US AND EQUIP US
FOR OUR MISSION, EVEN THE ONES IN THE WILDERNESS!

Thank you for gathering AT THE WELL with my friends, please CLICK HERE to listen to the other chatter around the well about this topic. Thank you Chelsey for leading us to become more like the Titus 2 woman.


7 comments:

LauraLee Shaw said...

Incredible post with deep teaching once again. I know to expect that here, though. Thank you so much!

Laurie Ann said...

My heart is jumping up and down saying, "Sing it, sistah!" Awesome awesome awesome teaching, Laurie! Amen! I loved how you used Jesus as this example. When you wrote, "WOULD GOD EVER DO THIS TO US?WOULD GOD EVER LEAD US TO A PLACE OF DANGER FOR THE SAKE OF THE GLORY OF GOD?I think the answer would be YES." my thoughts were on God's statement to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job?"

God will never leave us or forsake us completely, but I believe that for some reason He does cause us to be in situations that always have the opportunity to be used for His glory, and when He sees that we have done that, He pulls us out and ministers to us. He never leaves us alone.

Awesome post!

Jennifer said...

Great post today, Laurie. It has encouraged me today to look deeper in to my own times of spiritual dryness.

Love,
Jenn

Joyfull said...

Thank you for sharing an encouraging and strong post for spiritual dryness. This is not a place we desire to be and thank God He will not leave us unprotected in the wild! Thank God for His faithfulness and strength.

Kat said...

I had never thought that our Lord might "LEAD US TO A PLACE OF DANGER FOR THE SAKE OF THE GLORY OF GOD", but that is an observation I can understand upon thinking about it. Sometimes we need to be in the dry times and in danger spiritually to bring us back to Him. Thanks for this insight.

JesusRulzMe said...

Hi Laurie!

You said:
"The safety of our family and friends should be of utmost importance on our prayer list, but, we must understand that God's glory comes first to God."

Hallelujah sister, Hallelujah! May the Name of our God forever be praised and lifted it!

Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us and reminding us that being in the "desert" is always a bad thing, and sometimes very necessary as it's the tool God uses to remind us to be ever so dependent on Him alone!

Bless you dear sister,
Sunny

Michele Williams said...

Amen! Wonderful post! Thank you!