From Our Team

John Hoogenhout

Words of thought from our Church Team

Spiritually Dry Times

Coming Sunday I’m preaching in the AM service, and I intend to speak about our spiritually dry times in life – I’m sure you’ve experienced them. I have. And I know those times can last a long time. Maybe you’re in one of these spiritually dry times now and God seems very distant from you?

When I’m feeling a little flat in my relationship with Jesus, my mind pops up Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28 - Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. I find this promise of Jesus both comforting, and surprising. Surprising because my tendency is to reproach myself for feeling distanced from Jesus. I recall those times I’ve admitted to others I feel distanced from God – only to have them reply sternly: Well guess who moved?—implying it is me. Though that may be true, it is not a very helpful reply when one is already spiritually flat.

So, this Sunday AM I want to remind us of God’s faithfulness to His people especially when they wander away from Him. I want to remind us that God is always with us – that through Jesus we have adoption into God’s forever after family as sons and daughters. Let me encourage you to come to church his Sunday AM and allow God’s love and grace touch you afresh.

In the Old Testament we read of God trying to get Samuel’s attention: The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1Sam.3:10) Bill Hybells writes some thoughts on this in a devotional book I regularly read.

Suppose that you took some time to quiet your spirit before God and pray as Samuel did. In the solitude and stillness, what might God say to you?

To some seekers, God might say, “You’ve been reading Christian books and going to Christian meetings long enough. Now it’s time you became a Christian. Come enter into a faith-oriented relationship with me.” To those who have already made that commitment, he might say, “Return to me. It’s been a long, dry summer. Let’s get reacquainted!” To people facing trials, he might offer words of comfort: “I’m right here. I know your name, and I know your pain. I’m going to give you strength, so trust me.” To others, faithful through hardship, he might say, “I’m glad you are being faithful even though life is difficult for you. Keep it up!” And to still others, this message might come: “Follow my leading and take a risk. Walk with me toward new horizons.”

The message will be suited to the person’s individual need, but the central truth is certain: we serve a God who has spoken in history and who wants to speak to us today.

PRAY: In silence before God—pray Samuel’s prayer: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”

John Hoogenhout

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