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Sometimes we realize the small compromises. Ones we welcomed as we headed towards the desert of our spiritual walk.
Other times we don’t see the path we took until we look back.
Either way, being in a spiritual desert is incredibly challenging.
When I looked at different definitions of the word desert, none seemed more clear to my heart than this simple statement.
Desert: any place lacking in something
Lacking the hunger for God’s word. Lacking the will to pray. Lacking any heart connection or refreshment for your soul. Lacking peace.
Yes, it’s incredibly important to take note of how you got there. When your eyes are opened, you’re able to guard your heart more diligently in the future.
But no matter how you got there today, you are camped out in the desert, and the enemy loves it. In fact, he wants to keep you there.
His first goal of preventing you from receiving Jesus’ saving grace was snuffed out. His focus now becomes making you an ineffective Christian. Anything to prevent you from sharing the gospel or radiating the glory of God.
But that’s not your story friend. You are here today because you are a fighter, even when you don’t feel like it. You’re looking for help and actionable steps to flee the desert and return to the stream of living water. That’s good news!
But the best news?
When you can’t fight anymore HE can. You have the power of the Holy Spirit within you. You have comfort and you have help.
Here are 4 Steps You Need to Get Out of a Spiritual Desert
Take your eyes off of you
You can call it introspection or reflective thought, but in my experience, that’s putting in nicely 🙂 Most often my thoughts while in a spiritual desert are solely about me. My problems, my anger, my worry, my doubt etc.
I can spend plenty of time questioning God’s love for me when I am focused on how I feel about God. When I begin to shift my thoughts to who God says He is and the promise we have in Christ, my thoughts become increasingly smaller.
His unchanging love and unending grace are no match for my wavering thoughts. Take time to remember the beauty of the gospel.
Yes, Jesus really died for that in my life… and that and all of that.
Because of Him I am forgiven, loved, redeemed and restored to relationship with my Heavenly Father. God has not left me. His word says He will never leave us or forsake us. Scripture is God’s unchanging truth. My circumstances and my feelings are not.
Believe God for who He says He is.
Take a bite
You know how parents get their kids to try a food that they are less than enthusiastic about?
Just take one bite.
Often, not always, but often one bite will lead to more. When we are in a spiritual desert and don’t feel like reading His word, the best thing we can do is take one bite.
Anything. Just please open your Bible.
Do it even when you don’t feel like it. Once the fog on your heart lifts some, your appetite for His word can increase a bit at a time. It is ALWAYS worth digging into God’s word.
God is there. He hasn’t left you. Our job is to simply come to Him and His word with an open heart.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. James 4:8
As it says in the Matthew Henry Commentary:
Draw nigh to God. The heart that has rebelled must be brought to the foot of God; the spirit that was distant and estranged from a life of communion and converse with God must become acquainted with him.
Open His word to get acquainted with him once again.
Pray real prayers
Believe me, I understand. You don’t want to pray or you can’t even imagine how to pray right now. It’s ok to tell God that. Don’t hesitate to offer your “I have nothing left” to Him. Pray by talking, crying – any means necessary, just pray. If you don’t know where to begin, praying the scriptures right back to Him is a great starting point.
Or one I often cling to, Lord help my unbelief.
Please don’t try to hide or brush Him off. He knows where our hearts are at and He is faithful. If we come to Him with a submissive, humbled heart He can work wonders. Challenge yourself to start praying every day. No matter how you feel.
Here’s some help to get you started if you don’t know where to begin.
Find a way to connect
God wired us each uniquely. The way you feel the most “connected” to God may not be the same as me, and that is fine! I want to encourage you to think about a way that you can step towards Him in connecting once again.
Maybe for you, it’s worship music, or prayer or journaling.
It could be listening to podcasts or sermons inspiring you towards Him.
Or it could be as simple as spending time enjoying your family or outside in His creation.
Take action today in the way you feel the most connected to God. You won’t regret it.
My final plea to you is to remember that He is not condemning you for your time spent in the desert. Conviction brings us towards Him. Condemnation is from the enemy. There is no set amount of time it can take – no guarantee of “quick results” but by taking steps of faith towards Him you can leave the desert behind.
If you’re struggling and need prayer – reach out to your wise friends, your pastor or church -reach out! You can also always send a prayer request here.
What step are you going to take out of the spiritual desert today? Leave a comment below!
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Talk to you soon!
O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life. Lamentations 3:56