I find myself getting stale in my devotional time. It seems like my study is piecemeal and “I’ve read this before.” My mind wanders. I am reading the Bible chronologically to try and get a different perspective. I read the Daily Bread and keep a spiritual journal. Use the First Five app. I pray for fresh insight and right perspective – this is His time, not entertainment for me. Help!
First of all, was there ever a more relevant, relatable question asked than this one? Thank you, thank you for your transparency and your honesty. During these long days of shelter-in-place, I think many are suffering a bit of stale/blah/ho-hum as we miss the busy buzz of life and connection with our people. But even when we’re not under quarantine, we all have periods of spiritual drought.
Sometimes, our spiritual senses are dulled when our routine (even a good routine) becomes rote. Unwittingly, information takes the place of transformation. Reading becomes words on a page rather than the voice of God. There are times when God may go radio silent to see how we will respond. Will we shake our fists at the silence or will we surrender to it? Will we treat God as if he were at our beck and call or will we wait patiently for him? You can take this to the bank: God has not left the building. God is not dead. God loves you no matter whether you feel it right now or not.
When I find myself in a spiritually stale season, I set some time alone to take inventory. Have you ever spent a half day (4 hours) in prayer? This is a great opportunity for worship – by praying scripture, praising through music and writing prayers of praise. Make a list of things you are grateful for. Pray through what’s going in your life. Ask yourself a few questions: How did I get to this place? Is there anything I need to clear with the Lord? Cry out to him (ala David in the Psalms). God has big shoulders. And pray for others – those who need Jesus, family, church leaders, government leaders, etc. You’ll be surprised how fast the time goes.
I’ll be sharing more practical suggestions for moving forward in this season on Monday. Join me here then! For now, ponder this: What you are experiencing is normal. You are not alone. God has not abandoned you, and you are exactly where he wants you to be – dissatisfied and looking for answers. First, consider a half-day in prayer. We’ll talk more on Monday. Arms around!
“If I knew where to find God I would go there…I cannot find God
anywhere, in front or back of me, to my left or my right.
God is always at work, though I never see him. But he knows what I am doing,
and when he tests me, I will be pure as gold. –Job 23:3, 8-10 (CEV)
The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross