“But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:18-19.
There are few Christians who can say they have never been in a spiritual ‘rut’ at one time or another in their life. We get distracted, pulled down, and undone. God feels distant and extraneous. Day after day, sermon after sermon, small group after small group, prayer after prayer, we find ourselves concerned that there is too big a gap between our desired relationship with God and the one we are actually experiencing.
Every relationship can find itself in a rut. You can love your spouse. But if you planned to sit down with him or her every morning for a few minutes and nothing ever changed, then it would most likely become routine. It will start to feel bland, even tedious after a while if we didn’t find other ways to make it more interesting and fun. Relationships require reconnecting every day, genuine affirmation, shared enjoyment of activities, gratitude, and a whole lot of laughter to stay out of a rut.
The same is true of our relationship with God. Too often, we think our relationship with God is different from our human relationships. We read a devotional and spend the first minutes with God daily. In addition, we attend church, attend a small group, do personal Bible studies, and pray daily. We even have an accountability partner.
All that is great. Each of those things is an excellent foundational practice for life with Christ, but if we are not careful they can become robotic and we can miss the dynamic love relationship with God that He desires. As inconceivable as that sounds we can become bored with God. Here is what you need to know. The beauty of God’s love is that it survives spiritual dry times. Don’t let the lie sink into your mind that spiritual dryness indicates that God has lost interest in you or has decided that you are not salvageable. Nothing could be further from the truth. The most faithful and happiest Christians in history have experienced days of being in a spiritual rut. If you are in a dry time, focusing on God’s character can sustain your faith.
Remember that God loves you so much. He loves you and He is with you on the mountaintop and in the valley. Zephaniah 3:17 says, “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” The Bible is the best antidote to a dry spell. The Word of God is living and active. It is there to help grow and strengthen us. Too often, we complicate it and act like Bible reading is only helpful if we have the right study method or reading plan or are in the right frame of mind. But the beautiful thing about God’s Word is, it doesn’t depend on us – it depends on Him. He is faithful to work when we are half asleep in the morning or when we can’t sleep in the early hours of the night. Spend time in the Bible when you are in a spiritual rut.
- What constitutes being in a spiritual rut in your mind?
- Do you feel spiritually stuck in a rut, stagnant, going through the motions, or too comfortable? How did you move past it?
- How can prayer be a catalyst for moving out of a spiritual rut?