I have been spiritually dry for a loooooong time. Like years. I don't even know if spiritually dry describes it. I felt almost dead inside. I just didn't care. I didn't want to connect with anyone at church; I didn't even want to GO to church; I only went because of Brian. If left on my own, I most likely wouldn't have gone. Prayer? Pretty much non-existent. I didn't even seem to know how to pray when I tried. When I picked up my bible, it was just words. I dreaded people asking me to pray for them because I wasn't sure I even knew how anymore. The words just wouldn't come. I cried out to God to give me the "want to" because I didn't even have that!
Then I went to a Joyce Meyer conference. It was my fifth one. I never tire of Joyce! I started to get some of that excitement back. I was enjoying worship with Matt Redman, and Christy Nockels, and it was during one of Matt Redman's songs (link is included at the end of this blog) that I heard this voice say, "Mary..." Oh, I knew that voice. It was the voice of the Holy Spirit calling me, wooing me. He wanted to speak. So I listened. He spoke to my spirit and said, "I have great things planned for you." Really?
He reminded me of a ministry he'd given me 15 or so years ago. I hadn't even been THINKING of that. He told me that He hadn't removed the anointing. He hadn't forgotten me and hadn't forgotten what He told me all those years ago. He had great plans for me, if only I would soften my heart, open my heart to hear what He wants to say.
It was the breakthrough I needed. Of course, I bawled. And I wrote in my notebook. As fast as I was writing, He was giving me more. If we listen for the voice of God, He will speak to us. Sometimes, it's just a word. We have to trust that word and He will give us more. I find that if I just start writing, He gives it to me. I don't think, I just write. Because it's not about my creativity at that point. It's not about getting the words right. It's about tuning out the distractions and tuning in to Him to hear what He wants to say. He will speak to us if we invite Him to.
I went home on a spiritual "Cloud-Nine." It was back. The fire had been rekindled. I couldn't just conjure it up on my own. I tried that. It didn't work. Yes, I could have sat down with my bible every morning and read the (dry) Word out of discipline. I could have gotten out my prayer list and gone down the list with a bless this one and bless that one. But I don't think God wanted that. He didn't want my rote prayers. He didn't want me to pray if I didn't really believe. He doesn't need our prayers and our quiet time. That's for us.
Has God told you something and it hasn't come to pass? How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O Lord my God...(Psalm 13:1-3). Why would you give me these gifts and not an outlet to use them? He has not forgotten you.
Or maybe you are spiritually dry, like I was. You might even be good at pretending, like I was. You've tried everything. You've called out to God, and wonder why He isn't answering. You might wonder why He wouldn't give you that fire in your belly like you once had. Why wouldn't God want you to have a fire that burns for Him, when you truly desire it? You've gotten on your face and repented. Nothing. Silence. Where is God? Why O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? (Psalm 10:1)
He hasn't moved. He is still where you left Him. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters...He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. (Psalm 18:16, 19). Because He delighted in me...He delights in you!!!
Consider the Psalms. Many of them begin with a lament but as the psalmist works through his issues, he comes out on the other end-praising and thanking God and telling us of the wonderful attributes of God.
Looking back, I can honestly say that I compromised. It's a slow fade sometimes. You compromise once, it's easier to compromise a second time. The further I got away, the further I was drawn away. I was always aware of the presence of God. I never doubted that He still loved me. But He allowed me to choose. And too often, I chose the ways of the world. We cannot live in the ways of the world and live in the ways of the Kingdom. We have to choose.
I'm so grateful for my "wilderness" experience because I knew what I was missing and longed for it. And I now have a maturity I once lacked...and a desire, a real desire to help others along the path.
Blessings along the path.
after that song, Christy Nockels sang one of my favorite songs, which caused me to hear God even more clearly