Devotional

“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.

Have you ever been in a spiritual rut? Have you ever been spiritually stuck? We get distracted, pulled down, undone. God feels distant and irrelevant. Day after day, sermon after sermon, small group after small group, prayer after prayer, we find ourselves discouraged and frightened by a widening gap between our desired relationship with God and the one we are actually experiencing. It is at these times that prayer is so important because prayer is the conduit to the power and love of God.

I can’t say or stress this enough. God loves you so much. He loves you. 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.”

Ruts often occur because we default to thinking that God is big, and therefore removed, distant, and has better things to do than care about our daily anxieties. Yes, I know He “cares” about me. He cares about everyone. But right now I feel like there is a chasm between God and me and as a result prayer seems futile. 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. 

In these times we need to pray. But it is these times that we question whether prayer would actually make a difference. That thinking is what gets us in trouble. When we underestimate the power of prayer, when we think it doesn’t work, when we choose to believe that God won’t answer our prayers or that he isn’t listening, we wave a white flag and invite Satan into our situation. There is nothing Satan wants more than to engineer a spiritual rut for you from time to time. 

Maybe you’ve prayed and prayed for the same thing, over and over. Maybe you’ve wanted God’s will so badly and wanted life to look different for so long that you’re ready to give up. Maybe you’re feeling utterly discouraged or disappointed right now and not sure why you keep being surprised every time the same difficulties pop up again and again. Let me assure you that nothing, nothing in your life is too far gone that God’s power cannot resurrect it. So go to Him to get it back. Trust this desire into God’s care. Spend time in prayer each day with your Heavenly Father and watch the rut disappear.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What constitutes being in a spiritual rut in your mind? 
  2. Do you feel spiritually stuck in a rut, stagnant, going through the motions, too comfortable? How did you move past it?
  3. How can prayer be a catalyst for moving out of a spiritual rut?