We all go through tough times in our spiritual lives. Times that we don’t necessarily feel God’s presence, or maybe we don’t feel like anything is happening in our lives. We’re frustrated because our excitement about our faith has faded and being in the Word just no longer interests us.
It’s ok to feel this way. Trust me, I’ve felt this way before. But I wonder if sometimes the reason for these spiritual “droughts”, isn’t God or our faith, but us.
When I first started to explore God, Christianity and my spiritual life, it was all a means to an end, a type of self-help to make my life happier, healthier and more satisfying. I’ve written about control before, and that’s kind of what this was. God seemed like a new force I could use to get the results I wanted out of life. I sought after God as a way to fix my problems and take away my pain.
But that wasn’t a real relationship with God.
I think a lot of us to do this whether we realize it or not. We turn our relationship with God into a give and take. If I do this, He will do this. But God isn’t a formula, and living like He is isn’t real faith.
Scripture says, “For we live by faith, not by sight” (1 Cor. 5:7). When we let our spiritual lives become a means to an end, we’re living for what we can see—the effects, the results, the rewards. But real faith is living for what we cannot see: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Heb. 11:1).
Living for what we cannot see…that sounds a little scary, doesn’t it? But that’s exactly where God wants to meet us, in our place of uncertainty and unknown. For it’s in our weakness that He is strong.
Has your spiritual life felt dry lately because you haven’t seen the results you’re wanting? Are you waiting for a certain feeling or for something to happen that will make your faith feel alive again? Could it be that in this time God is whispering something to you that you can’t hear over your own expectations?
It might be time to reassess what you’re hoping to get out of your spiritual life. God wants a relationship with you. That’s why He sent His us His son. He is “Immanuel,” God with us. When we look at our faith as a means to an end, we will never be satisfied with it and we might give up on it all together. But if we look at our spiritual lives as they were intended to be—a personal relationship with our Savior—then a faith will start to be less of a transaction and more a journey with our God. The best journey you will ever go on.