There is no doubt about it, I absolutely love living in California. This is where God has placed me right now, and I have found it to be a lovely place to call “home” until I arrive to my real home in Heaven. I love the hiking trails, the mountains, the beaches, and having moved here from the plains of Kansas, I especially enjoy the TREES!
The Palm Trees
The Oak Trees
The Giant Redwoods and
The Jacarandas are gorgeous!
In case you have not heard we are in a SERIOUS drought. The dangers that come with residing in a drought-ridden land are numerous. It has been reported that over 12.5 million trees have died due to drought related concerns in California this past year. Some are projecting there will not be enough water to meet California’s demands in 2016. Also, the wildlife is scouring the land for SOMETHING to eat or drink, and they often find their way in the paths of humans. I will spare you the gory details, but we have even had frightful evidence of coyotes on our front porch cornering their prey…right at my front door!
IT. WAS. AWFUL.
Sources of a Spiritual Drought
As women who follow Jesus Christ, it is not completely uncommon to find ourselves in a season of drought. I have found myself in that dry dreary place, and maybe you have too. Spiritual droughts are evidence of the reality we are saved sinners living in a broken world ever needful of our Savior. Here are just a few reasons we could find ourselves in the midst of a spiritually dry time:
Various Lusts waging war on our souls,
Wallowing in the dry dust of Legalism,
A Discontented or Prideful Heart,
An Unforgiving Attitude , or even
Excessive Navel Gazing…
The result of resting a prolonged period of time in any of the above will eventually rob us of the necessary spiritual nourishment that comes from the needful and precious time with our Savior. Before you know it, the words of the hymn “prone to wander, LORD I FEEL IT” become painfully real to our hearts and are evidenced in our walk.
Solutions to a Spiritual Drought
Much like the dangers evidenced in California right now, we may also be setting ourselves up for the dangers that come when we stay in a state of spiritual drought. Our spiritual fruit will appear to be more like a shriveled up grape left out in the sun to dry than the beautiful fruit that is produced as we ask God to saturate us with His grace and goodness as we trust and walk in obedience to Him.
While Cali doesn’t have roaring lions roaming around, the believer is called to be sober and on alert for our enemy, Satan.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Notice the things mentioned above do not reflect a watchful heart.
The coyotes that preyed upon on that poor little animal they trapped on my front porch were very crafty in cornering their prey. They were literally crouched at my front door…
Just. Like. Sin. Does.
“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Gen 4:7
I pray we will be constantly mindful that repentance does not come only initially at salvation, but it is a very necessary part of God’s sanctification in our lives; our spiritual growth. Because of what Christ has done for us, we can joyfully turn from ourselves and our sin…the more often we walk in the refreshment that comes from confessed sin (1 John 1:9), the sooner we will be on the right path where spiritual growth takes place and bear fruit that reflects a repentant heart (Matt 3:8). I pray for those I love as well as myself to be “quick repenters.”
Talk to the Source of Life
Spend time in prayer with the ONE who is our only source of life, joy, comfort, and fruitful, gracious living. Ask the Lord for wisdom and help in your time of need. Let Him shower your heart with His mercy and grace to start anew:
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” — Hebrews 4:16
Saturate Yourself With the Word
May I encourage you to start your day with it? You probably don’t go until bedtime without a drink of water or a nourishing meal! It doesn’t have to be hours upon hours…something is better than nothing. I started years ago reading 5 Psalms and a Proverb every day. At the end of very month, I have read them both all the way through. It never grows old! There are so many good reading plans to help you on the way. Unlike the doomed prediction of California’s water source, God’s word will never return to you void. The water that comes from the Rock, Jesus, of our salvation has a never-ending flow of Love, Grace, and necessary Truth to help us once again enjoy Him. PLEASE contact me if you need ideas or encouragement in this area.
Before long, you will no longer look like drought ridden California, but more like what the Psalmist describes in Psalm 1:3:
“He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither…”
Do not wait for matters to worsen. Find a trusted, godly, older woman to come alongside you and help you during this time. Be honest with her when it comes to your struggles! If this seems to be an ongoing theme, don’t hesitate to find a biblical counselor! Their prayers, guidance, and example will bring much needed nourishment to your soul as you get back on course. Ask them to ask you the hard questions…Let them help you evaluate your priorities and devise a plan. Don’t be afraid to take drastic measures to get back on track and drinking from the deep well of God’s goodness…
“O God, You are my God;
I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.”