I have had some super spiritually dry days that seem to stretch into months. Doubts fill my mind. Am I doing something wrong? Where is God? Why can’t I hear from Him?
Bible reading seems to be the first to go when someone is feeling spiritually dry. It doesn’t have to be. Whenever such a season intrudes -I change things up in my spiritual life to allow the Spirit to breathe life into the Word that I am reading.
Here are 5 tips to reading your Bible when the dry season intrudes in your life:
1. Don’t Give Up
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9 ESV
Reading the Bible is something good but sometimes we can grow weary especially if we haven’t heard God speaking through what we have read. We need to hold onto the truth that God has not abandoned us – He is always with us. We need to tell ourselves that this is just a season, like winter, where God is silently and invisibly working away until all will be revealed in “due season”.
Getting to know the author of the Book is the most important purpose in reading and studying. He is a personal God that desires to know us personally. I believe that He wants us to be honest with Him – tell Him that it’s difficult right now and ask, along with the Psalmist, to “open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Ps 119:18 ESV)
2. Have a Spiritual Theme or One Word for the year
This has revolutionized my spiritual and personal life. Every year, I ask God for One Word or a Spiritual Theme for the next twelve months to concentrate on. I use this One Word or Theme to flavor my Bible Time.
- What does God say in His Word about my One Word?
- How does that apply to my life?
This one “change up” has injected an excitement in my spiritual life and Bible reading. God is so awesome – He will bring together sermons, podcasts, conversations with friends, other books, and circumstances to expand on what I have been discovering in His Word. My past One Words have been Real, Hope, Treasure, Pause and this year (2017) is Unleashed.
3. Spend Time Pondering One Verse
I used to feel so guilty about the quantity of Bible I was reading or studying. Hearing how others were reading large chunks and reading their Bibles in 90 days was daunting.
I have discovered that “less is more” for the spiritually dry heart or mind. To just take one verse and meditate on it every day – getting all the goodness out of it.
- Look up the original Hebrew or Greek meanings of the words. Ponder that.
- Read the verse in different versions. Ponder that.
- What do other people say about that verse? – google it. Ponder that.
- What does God say? Spend time chatting to Him about that one verse.
Have no time limit on this One Verse Pondering. If you spend a week or a month – great. The objective is not to gain head knowledge but heart knowledge. To know God not just know about God.
4. Journal your Ponderings
What you discover during this dry period is worth jotting down in a journal.
- Write down your thoughts and feelings.
- Write down your heart cries to God.
- Take a note of that One Word or Spiritual Theme that God has laid in your pathway. Note down what the Word says on that One Word.
- As you ponder that One Verse – jot it down.
These are all precious notes dropped into your mind and heart from the Author of the Book. God told Jeremiah to “Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you” Jeremiah 30:2 ESV. I have over thirty journal books filled with God’s words to me – what a record of treasure on our relationship. Whenever I enter a time of discouragement I get out a journal and start reading of God’s goodness.
5. Take it Outside
I have always been an “at home” person but the outdoors is beckoning me to discover its creator. Take your quiet time outside and spend time in nature with the Bible. God’s Words will surprise you and come alive in this environment
- While sitting on top of a mountain read Isaiah 54:10 – “For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then, my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken”, says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” NLT
- While walking through a field of flowers read Luke 12:27 – “Consider the lilies and wildflowers, how they grow [in the open field]. They neither labour nor spin [wool to make clothing]; yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory and splendour dressed himself like one of these.” AMP
- While crossing a stream ponder Psalm 1 where the person who meditates on the Word is ”like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that she does she prospers “ Psalm 1:3 ESV
- While driving through a valley think about the Good Shepherd in Psalm 23 and say to yourself “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod, and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 ESV
- Lie on your back and look at the sky and ponder – “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him” Psalm 103:11 NASB
There are many, many verses in the Bible that relate nature to the Creator. Find and jot them in a journal then go exploring in your neighbourhood – you just might find God waiting for you.
Quench Your Thirst
It is possible to discover and enjoy an oasis in the middle of a dry desert season?
I ask the Father that as you reach out to Him during this dry season, He will activate His promise:
“Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. The parched ground will become a pool, and the springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land.” Isaiah 35:6-7 NLT
What Has Helped YOUR Bible Reading?
Over to you – What have you discovered during your dry seasons? Lessons or helpful hints? Share in the comments below.
Rachel Larkin lives in New Zealand with her husband and their three adult sons. She writes about growing in faith and developing your potential at- http://rachellarkin.com/ . She is also a practicing Chartered Accountant, veteran homeschooler of 14 years and craves chocolate constantly.
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