Have you ever gone through a dry spell in your relationship with God?
I can remember early on in the NEW LIFE when I would have mountaintop experiences with God. When His Spirit and His presence seemed so real and palpable. I felt like I could touch Him, taste him, and feel Him. Then there was a dry spell when all the feelings, signs, and wonders dissipated. At first, I wondered how I was supposed to deal with this. Had I done something wrong? Was God mad at me? I’m not talking about times when I blatantly sinned and broke fellowship. I’m talking about times when I was walking in obedience in fellowship and the Word – and hit a dry spell.
Is it normal to have times when feelings, emotions, and miracles dissipate? Are there ebbs and flows in the New Life?
During those early days in my faith, I would take these questions to a mature brother in the Lord named Wally. Wally was such a wonderfully loving Spirit-filled man of God. I am so grateful that God put him in my life at the beginning. When I asked him why there are times I can feel, taste, and touch God, times when He is so close and my communion with Him is so strong, yet other times that seem dry and God feels far away. Wally would answer, “Peter that’s very normal in the NEW LIFE. We all go through times of intimate communion and then times when it seems that God just draws back a bit. In fact,” he said, “it’s necessary for you to grow. You see, your spiritual life—your NEW LIFE—is a lot like a plant. When you plant a seed in fertile soil, you water it a lot. The same thing is true when the seed of faith is planted in the fertile soil of your life, God pours out His spirit liberally on that new seed and soon a seedling pushes it way out of the ground and NEW LIFE begins to rise up. He continues to pour out His Spirit liberally and keeps you in the direct light to establish you. Then, like a seedling, there comes time when the gardener pulls back on the amount of water given to the plant. Why? So, the roots can grow deeper and the plant can become stronger. Too much water for a prolonged period of time keeps the roots close to the surface, making the plant weak and unable to withstand the struggle and strain of life. The same battle exists in the new Life. Don’t be afraid of the dry spells,” he would assure me. “Know that God is growing your roots deeper.”
Through Wally’s counsel, I learned to stand firm in those moments and depend upon the truth of God’s Word. The same is true for every follower of Christ. God is using the dry spells to strengthen you. In the storms. In the battle. In the high times and the low times. You will stand because God is growing you. You can trust Him in the dry times and know beyond a shadow of doubt that God is going to continue to show up in your life.
In Exodus 17:1-7, we see God leading Israel to a dry place to strengthen them and show them that He knows their needs even before they ask. Leading up to this part of the journey, God took His people from the signs and wonders of the plagues, to the parting of the Red sea, to the abundance of water at Elim, and the miracle of manna from heaven to a dry place called Rephidim. When they realized there was no water, they began to react according to the OLD LIFE by quarreling, complaining, and even threatening Moses’ life. Why? Because these were the tools and the coping mechanisms of the OLD LIFE. God brought these character defects to the surface not to condemn His people but to set them free from the empty way of life handed down to them. As the people pressed Moses, he humbly fell to his knees and cried out to God. In love, God responded. He led Moses and the elders to a rock that would be a source of water in Rephidim (the dry place). God revealed to them that He would show up and provide the life-sustaining water they needed—even in the dry places. He was teaching them that the coping mechanisms of the OLD LIFE didn’t work in the NEW LIFE.
So often we respond to the challenges in our NEW LIFE with the broken patterns and coping skills of the past while God lovingly woos us into His loving arms and provision. We do not have to quarrel, complain, or threaten anymore to have our needs met. We simply humble ourselves before God and receive His loving provision into our lives.
A new friend Clarice told me, “Humility is the gateway to God.” These words echo the words in 1 Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
My friends, has God lead you to Rephidim (the dry place)? Do not be afraid. Let go of the broken patterns of the OLD LIFE and humble yourself before God that He may lift you up. God shows up in the dry times. Don’t give up before the miracle happens.
Come join us this week as we continue our series, LIVING IN NEW LIFE with a message entitled, “Our Victories are Won Together.”
Listen to the message HERE