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What is spiritual dryness, and how can I overcome it?

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What is spiritual dryness, and how can I overcome it?

When people mention being spiritually dry, they usually mean they feel distant from God or are struggling to grow spiritually. There may be several reasons for spiritual dryness.

Some people feel spiritually dry due to personal sin. Sin can cause us to feel distant from God because we are attempting to live for self and live for God. James 4:8 provides the solution in these cases: “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

Some people feel spiritually dry because of physical, mental, or emotional pain. For example, when we are sick, it is often more difficult to focus on God or spiritual things. After Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal, he ran a great distance because he feared Queen Jezebel would put him to death (1 Kings 19:1–5). He wanted to die, but God used this time of weakness to work in Elijah’s life in a new way.

God sometimes allows a person to reach a low point before intervening in a powerful way. The Israelites crossing the Red Sea is an example. The people were trapped between Pharaoh’s army and the sea. There seemed to be no escape. God seemed to ignore their situation. Yet it was during this time God chose to intervene with a miracle. He divided the sea to allow the Israelites to escape on dry land!

God offers some solutions to spiritual dryness. We have already noted God’s command to draw near to Him and He will draw near to us. In addition, we are called to seek God through His Word: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Focusing on God’s Word helps us to connect better with the Lord.

A second way to overcome spiritual dryness is through prayer. Jeremiah 29:13 teaches, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jesus taught in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

A third way to overcome spiritual dryness is fellowship with other believers. One of the aspects that caused the vibrant growth of the early church was their time with one another. Acts 2:46–47 notes, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Spiritual dryness may result from several causes —sin, human causes, or as part of God’s plan. We can do our part to overcome spiritual dryness by drawing close to God, studying Scripture, praying, and spending time with other growing believers.

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