August 23, 2019 | By Helen Calder, Elijah List
When I began writing on my Enliven Blog ten years ago, I was spiritually dry and recovering from burnout. Yet now, as I write this on my blog’s tenth anniversary, I look back in amazement at what can only be a move of the Holy Spirit.
So, if you can relate to feeling weary; if you sometimes wonder how you can complete the work God has called you to, be encouraged. Your Father wants you to know that He is unfailing. There is never any moment you where cannot draw life from Him! And if you have experienced spiritual dryness, you can be refilled.
Below is the story of how I overcame spiritual dryness, as well as some helpful keys to overcoming this in your own life.
1. Realize Your Weakness Is Not an Obstacle to God
Contemplating this milestone of a decade has been both wonderful and humbling for me; it is a miracle of God’s grace that has made this possible, with the generous help of others. But to be honest, at the time, the thought of doing it again, even for one more week, was daunting! That is until I paused in prayer, and suddenly found myself in a vision.
In the vision, I was by a bubbling brook, surrounded by greenery. There was an indescribable peace in that place. The brook’s water was flowing endlessly through a large rock. Then I noticed something. The water was pouring forth from the mouth of a clay jar. I suddenly knew that clay jar was cracked and broken, but it was completely encompassed by the rock. Within the rock, the jar was tilted in such as way that the water poured forth endlessly; only its mouth was visible.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”(2 Cor. 4:7 NIV) (Photo via Flickr)
Do you feel weak, or even cracked and broken in some way? Your weakness is not an obstacle to Him. Hear your Father say, “My grace towards you is such that My glory will shine through you and My power be seen upon you!” (2 Cor 12:9).
2. Be Dependent Upon Jesus
The clay jar I saw in the vision had capacity to pour because it was held and encased in the rock. You can have complete security in Jesus when He is your Rock, your source of life.
“[A]nd all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Cor. 10:4 NKJV)
A cure for spiritual dryness is to be continually dependent upon Him. This is a position you can hold by faith.
Jesus explained it this way: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 NKJV).
Your longevity in ministry doesn’t rest on your ability or diligence, as important as these things are. It rests on your dependence upon Christ. Jesus uses the image of the vine and the branches to illustrate what He means by “abiding in Him.” The branches are a part of the vine—an extension of it. They are not merely joined, they are one.
You can have the revelation of being one with Christ, and then live rested in that position of union with Him.
3. Live and Work Out of the Father’s Delight
At the start of 2009, around eight months before I started my blog, I released most of my ministry roles. Everything I thought God had lined up for me, in order to fulfill His call on my life, had fallen over. I was now well into my forties. I had worked so hard but seemed to have lost it all, and had nothing left to give. Yet the Lord was at work. He allowed my spiritual dryness, for it led to my healing.
In my crisis of faith, I asked over and over, “Are You the God I am afraid that You are—a task-master whose approval I can never win? Or the Father I have longed for—a God of grace and joy?”
I had known theoretically that God was my Father, but I didn’t know Him as my loving Father.
After a life-changing encounter with God as my Abba Father, I finally knew I didn’t need to work for His approval. I was already “good enough”! I knew I was, always had been, and always would be His beloved child. And on this new foundation, I began to write.
Your Father is delighted in you; not because of anything you can do for Him. He loves you, He loves you, He loves you.
4. Be Continuously Filled with the Spirit
As 2010 began, my husband Malcolm and I both had a glorious infilling with the Holy Spirit. So much so, Malcolm had to carry me out of a meeting!
Finally, I had moved from spiritual dryness into overflow, but it started more than 6 months earlier as I learned to have regular encounters with God that replenished me, little by little.
We need to know where our life flow comes from. When we are releasing life to others out of our intimate relationship with God, we can continue to serve. Jesus said, “‘Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this He meant the Spirit…” (John 7:38-39 NIV). The source of this river is His Spirit, flowing from within us.
You are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), and God’s design for you is to never run dry. Today, I pray His life is released powerfully from within you. May you be filled and overflow with His immeasurable joy.
God created us to be in close relationship with Him. This doesn’t mean that work is not important to God!
Yes, we need to take special time out for rest and prayer to prevent spiritual dryness, but there is no place where relationship ends and work begins. We do not work for God, we work with God, and our Father doesn’t grade different types of work. Remember, in the beginning He put Adam to work tending the garden. All work can be done to the glory of God (Col. 3:17).
Today, I pray that you will know what it means to be filled to overflowing, and that any spiritual dryness will be swept away by an encounter with the grace of God.
He is waiting for you with open arms.
(Used with permission from Elijah List.)