Things are dry, folks. If you live in a southern state or any one of a multitude of states facing drought conditions right now, you probably know just how dry it is. It seems like it hasn’t rained in forever! It’s so dry that every time there’s as much as a sprinkle on a windshield Facebook comes alive with pictures! Where I live we are in desperate need of a steady, drenching rain.
The first thing to go when a drought hits are the crops. I know farmers that are really hurting right now due to the lack of rainfall. I’ve even seen some ranchers feeding hay already – and it’s only July (usually that doesn’t begin until the grazing fields die due to colder weather). People who have gardens are already seeing the last of their fresh vegetables that they’ve enjoyed so much.
And then comes the suffering of those who can’t care for themselves. Animals that depend on the weather to survive begin to feel the crunch. Ponds that contain fish are drying up. Cattle that depend on those ponds or grazing fields are beginning to feel the punch of drought. And as drought continues, the suffering only increases.
We need rain – and we need a lot of it! A short sprinkle might seem refreshing for a moment, but we’ve been so dry for so long that it would only stir up dust. In order for this drought to end, we need a long, steady, soaking rain. When we get it, however, there will no doubt be those who will complain (We humans are fickle like that).
As dry as conditions are physically in our world, the spiritual conditions are much more critical.
Week after week, month after month, churches fill up with church people who go through the motions but are spiritually dry as a bone. Whether they’ve sanctioned the Holy Spirit out of their services altogether for fear of what His presence might bring, or they’ve tried to live on both sides of the fence morally throughout the week for far too long, and the result is a spiritual drought in their lives and, in their churches, and across this nation.
When we are spiritually dry, the first thing to vanish are our works – our fruit. We begin to stop serving in ministry, or maybe little by little we begin to slowly withdraw from church altogether. What were once priorities to us – like Sunday nights or Wednesday nights for example – have now become optional. The joy we once felt from serving Christ has now diminished, and we simply go through the motions because we feel that’s what’s expected of us.
And then those who need those works and fruit so badly begin to suffer:
The kids we once ministered to no longer have the example or guidance they once had in us.
The students that need mentoring now have a void in their lives because that mentor doesn’t have their heart in it anymore.
The elderly nursing home residents feel the loneliness that comes from no one coming to see them because their once faithful visitors have found “better things to do.”
The poor and hungry remain poor and hungry because those who once gave to help them are now withholding their gifts.
The lost and dying in our very own communities remain lost and dying because those who are called to reach them (that’s us) are too caught up in living their dry lives.
The answer is simple: We need rain!
We feel the occasional short sprinkle from time to time, don’t we? We have an amazing service where the Holy Spirit shows up in a mighty way and we talk about it like it’s a great revival! Or maybe it’s church camp or a conference – and we walk away on a mountaintop! The problem is that since we’ve been dry for so long, all that short sprinkle does is stir up dust.
In order for true, life-bringing, soaking spiritual revival to come we need a long, steady, soaking rain. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to soak us DAILY with His presence!
But be prepared – there will be complainers. Just like when the ground needs rain so desperately and the rain finally comes yet there are those whose plans are ruined by it (a day at the lake or a yard sale, for example). When the Holy Spirit drenches your life daily and you begin to live it out, there will be those whose plans will change and you’ll hear about it.
Paul once told the Galatian Christians, “Am I now seeking the favor or men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”
So today, join me in praying for rain – both physical and spiritual. After all, time and time again, God has a proven track record of answering that prayer in ways we can only dream about!
That’s just a thought, and I welcome yours.
Until next time,
Copyright © 2021 by Blake Martin @https://pastorblakeman.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/drought/ No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org.