In 1980, Keith Green was feeling disconnected from the Lord and as a good song writer does, he wrote about his experience.
"Oh Lord, please light the fire,
That once burned bright and clear.
Replace the lamp of my first love,
That burns with Holy fear.”
Could these words be your words? Have you ever felt disconnected from God and long to have His fire rekindled inside of you again? Beloved, you are not alone. The sons of Korah thirsted for God like a deer panting for a cool drink (Ps. 42:1-2). David felt like his spiritual strength was draining from him like physical strength does on an extremely hot summer day (Ps. 32:3-4). It is not uncommon for God's children to go through periods of spritual dryness.
Identifying the reality of spiritual dryness is not enough though is it? We want to know the cause. We want to know if there is a cure. Fortunately, God's word helps us to make a good faith effort in identifying the causes and cure for spiritual dryness.
CAUSES OF SPIRITUAL DRYNESS
1. The presence of unconfessed sin (Psalm 32:1-5)
2. Physical exhaustion (1 Kings 19:1-6)
3. Satan's direct attack against you (1 Peter 5:8)
4. Chasing a spiritual experience for the sake of the experience (Acts 8:14-24)
5. Going through a major crisis (Job 1-2)
6. A period of testing brought on by God (Deuteronomy 8:1-5)
7. God's preparation of you for a new work in you (Isaiah 41:17-18)
8. Inability to clearly see God's way of salvation in Christ (John 4:20-26, Acts 4:12)
9. Viewing the Bible as a moral code of conduct, rather than the pathway to God (John 5:39)
10. Blindness to the authority and sufficiency of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
11. Unconvinced that Jesus Christ is your righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21)
12. Misunderstanding the role of good works in the Christians life (Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 5:22-23)
13. Looking outside of God for enduring happiness (Psalm 4:7-8)
14. Undervaluing the significance of relationships with others in the church (Romans 12:10; 1 Corinthians 12:7)
In Mark's gospel we relive an encounter between Jesus and a blind man that can help us discover how to be delivered from the desert of spiritual dryness (Mark 8:22-26). Jesus had just arrived in Bethsaida when a blind man was brought to him. The blind man and his friends beg Jesus to heal him. Jesus spit on the man's eyes and laid his hands on him and then asked, "Do you see anything?" The man replied, "I see people, but they look like trees walking." Jesus touched his eyes again and the man could see everything clearly.
What can we learn from this encounter about the cure for spiritual dryness? First, you must seek Christ to heal you. This is what the blind man did. With the help of his friends, he acted in faith by going to Jesus for healing. Second, trust Christ to heal you in the right time. Jesus didn't heal the blind man all at once. We must patiently trust that Jesus is good and will bring healing into our lives at the right moment (Jn. 11). Third, follow Jesus in genuine obedience. The blind man found healing by surrendering to Jesus' will. Remember that Jesus promised, "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love" (Jn. 15:10).
I know that there is much more that could be said about the causes and cure for spiritual dryness, but this is only a sermon review. I would encourage you to set aside some time and prayerfully read through the Bible verses listed and respond humbly as the Spirit searches your heart.
HOW CAN YOU USE THIS SERMON REVIEW?
1. If you are personally feeling spiritually dry, set aside time to read through each cause asking God to help you discern your condition.
2. If you know someone who has expressed feeling disconnected from God, share this post with them. Or better yet, get together with them and read through the above Scriptures together.
3. Remember that the actions of reading and praying do not bring spiritual healing. Jesus does. Keep persevering until you have Him!