I want to begin by saying that I understand the title of this entry is provocative. I don’t want you to think that I am insensitive to the struggle that you might be going through, and my motivation is not to say that you have a bad theology or to condemn you in any way.
I wish you could see the compassion I have for you in my heart as I write these words. Having never met you, I know the Father deeply loves you, and my pure intention is that you would not be hindered in any way concerning your relationship with Him. I want to encourage and uplift your spirit, and hopefully help you out of what we have commonly called in the church, a “dry season.”
Having said that, I don’t actually doubt that you might be in a “dry season” however you define it, but I hope to challenge the beliefs you have about that infamous desert and give you the victory that Christ paid for in every season of life. God has put so much on my heart concerning this topic that I just can’t cover it all in one post, so this is going to be part one of a short series.
Let’s start by defining our terms. What is a dry season? What I have understood this phrase to mean is a feeling of distance from God, an inability to hear his voice, maybe it’s a prayer that God just doesn’t seem to be answering, or maybe you just don’t feel loved by God. It could also seem to be that God has not shown you His calling on your life, or that He has, but it has been so delayed that you wonder if you even heard Him in the first place.
I ask that God would season my words to you with grace, humility, and care, so that in the spirit of truth and love, He may give you and I both a greater understanding of what prompts these seasons, and what can pull us out of them. Here is just one reason you might be in a dry season.
We just have to get this one out of the way right off the bat. Let me be clear. I’m not saying that if you feel distant from God that you’re in sin. What I am saying is that if you’re in habitual sin, you will feel distant from God.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and1 John 1:5-7
declareto you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
You cannot experience fellowship with God if you are in the willful practice of sinning. If you do have obvious sin in your life, let me just tell you first of all that God loves you.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8
It doesn’t matter what you feel: if you get goosebumps or not, if you feel the warm fuzzies or not, if your life is going well or not, and I don’t care what your sin is. God loves you. The only evidence of God’s love that you need is that He sent his son to die for your sins so that you would be free and so that you would know His love; not feel his love, but know it.
So how do you break that addiction you’ve had for years? Maybe it’s something you have struggled with all your life! You’ve tried everything. You’ve done counseling, you’ve done the accountability group thing, you’ve prayed, you’ve read the Bible, and it’s all just not working. You’re ready to give up, and God is nowhere to be found, and maybe you don’t even know if He’s real. If He is, He definitely can’t love you after all that you’ve done, right? Well, of course not!
All of those thoughts that I just laid out, the thoughts that you might be having, are thoughts of condemnation.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.John 3:7
If your eyes are always on the wrong that you have done, you will never see God. You will only ever see your sin. I promise you, if you wake up every morning and worry about whether you will have the strength to make it through the day without sinning, you will fail.
If you are just counting the days since the last time you messed up, if you believe that you will always be a sinner, if you actually identify yourself by your sin, then you will fail again, and again, and again. You are not an alcoholic, or an adulterer, or gay, or anything other than what God paid a high price for you to become.
You used to be those things but the moment you saw your need for a savior, believed in the son of God and gave Him your life, you became righteous in God’s sight. You are not the sum total of the things that you have done. They no longer define you. You are defined by what Christ has done.
2 Corinthians 5:21
ForHe made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Why Can’t I Stop?
“So if I’m not a sinner, and now I’m the righteousness of God, why do I still look at pornography?” If you feel convicted because you lust after a woman, thank God! That means that God’s incorruptible seed has been planted in you and the spirit is waging war against the flesh.
Listen, I know that this seems contrary to common sense and there might be some seasoned Christians who would push back on me for saying this, but I know from experience that you will never stop looking at pornography by trying to stop looking at pornography (this applies to every sin).
If you could do that, then the law would have been good enough, and we would never have needed Jesus to die for us.
So what’s the answer?
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.Galatians 5:19-25
Now the first half of this passage may seem contrary to what I just told you but let’s look at what Jesus said.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bearJohn 15:4
fruitof itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
What Jesus is saying here is that you cannot truly see the fruit of the spirit in your life and will be doomed to be enslaved to the works of the flesh unless you abide in Him. Yes, it’s true that if you continue in the works of the flesh until the day you die, you will be judged. But it is also true that you cannot stop committing the works of the flesh just because you want to.
So what does it look like to abide in Jesus? It really comes down to this:
But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.Deuteronomy 4:29
So read the bible and spend time with God as often as you possibly can. Seek Him with everything that is within you and you will find him if you don’t give up.
Walk by Faith
As you seek God by reading His word, you will grow in faith because the bible says faith comes by hearing the word of God (I covered this in one of my previous posts about grace). As you grow in faith, you will start to believe the word of God over what you see in your own life, because it says that we live by faith and not by sight.
Then, if you sin, remember that God will forgive you and “cleanse you of all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9), “God is for you” and not against you (Romans 8:31), and that Jesus didn’t come to condemn you but to save you. God “delights in showing mercy” (Micah 7:18), and He’s cheering you on. He wants you to win.
If a thought of temptation comes into your head, don’t feel bad and think, “I’m so messed up! Why am I thinking about this again?” Instead, stand in faith and thanksgiving, “holding every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5), thanking God that you are being “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2), thanking Jesus that He is the “author and finisher of your faith” (Hebrews 12:2), and that you are being “conformed to the image of the son” (Romans 8:29) from one degree of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).
This is called faith. Why? Because of this scripture:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. ByHebrews 11:1-3
faithwe understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God,so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
We were made in God’s image, and God spoke all of creation into being (from what was invisible into what is visible) by the word of his mouth. If we, in likeness to God, speak His word of truth over our lives, then we will see the manifestation of His truth in us, even if we can’t see it. We must believe that His word is truer than the reality that we witness with our eyes.
The renewing of the mind in regards to this faith begins with a small change in attitude. It can be demonstrated like this: instead of praying, “God, I’m sorry that I’m so weak,” we can thank God in faith by praying, “God, I thank you that you are strong in me.” Shift the focus of your life away from you and towards God, and you’ll be amazed at what will happen.
If you feel like you are in a dry season because you are fighting a losing battle against sin, do not give up hope. We were made to be more than conquerors in Christ, and if you truly seek God with all of your heart and surrender your life to Him, I promise that the power that sin has over you will absolutely be destroyed.
I stand in faith with you that God will utterly transform your life, and I thank Him in prayer that He has already placed a fire in you to seek after Him more and more starting today. If a struggle against sin is not the reason you feel like you are in a dry season and you just wanted to read this whole entry for some extra encouragement, then God bless you!
Please keep an eye out for the next blog in this series because God might have a word for you there. In the meantime, feel free to check out my last post about a choice that God gives us every day between “life” and “death.” As always thank you so much for reading, and God bless!