Thursday, August 18, 2011

Surviving Spiritual Drought – Stay In The Shade

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:4-7

Sometimes, I wish I were in control of all things, but I am not.  If I were, I would simply make the severe heat of these days go away.  I would bring the rain and alleviate the suffering of the masses that are enduring the oppressive heat. 

But I am not that powerful…and certainly not wise enough to bear that responsibility for the weather of the whole world.  But while God has not put me in charge of the weather, he has given me the good common sense to stay in the shade whenever possible!

So also will I seek the shelter of God during times of spiritual drought.
Recently, our church purchased a bus ticket for an elderly man who was hitch-hiking through Texas.  The man did not request a bus ticket, but I knew this man would likely die in the +100 degree temperatures trying to get to his home in another state.  He was doing his best with what he had, but exposure to the elements would be his undoing.  So we found a way for him to stay in the shade during the journey. If you are enduring spiritual drought, I want you to be in the shade too!  Where do you find that shade?  In the presence of the Lord.

As seen above in John 15, we are instructed to “abide in the Lord.” The word abide here is written to suggest a taking of residence.  We are to make the presence of the Lord our home as we live.

·      Matthew 11:28  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
 When we are going through spiritual drought, the flesh is pulling us away from the presence of God…away from the shade.  Yet Jesus calls us to the cool...back into the presence of God.  To get there, our steps must be intentional. 

·      Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
While wandering through the desert of my own making, water is scarce and living water won’t be found.  When I seek the heart of God with my own heart, lost as I may be in my own situation, God reveals himself to me.  He guides me to his heart.  He renews my soul beside his still waters (see Psalm 23).  He leads me to the shade, and I must endeavor to remain there and not leave him for my own way.

Scriptures to claim: 
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust !" For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge ; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. Psalm 91:1-4

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