Q. For months now I’ve been in a dry place and I just don’t know how to get out of it. I’ve struggled with the lack of desire I have for our Lord and his word. The shame and guilt is there when I wake up and it tucks me in at night. I’ve even stopped going to church every Sunday and communication (prayer) with the Lord isn’t any better. I want to be on fire again and I want to love the Lord’s church and I want to be restored to fellowship with Jesus Christ…I just don’t know how.
I’ve asked the Lord for forgiveness and help. Even so, the feelings of failure are always on my mind. I know the evil one is evil and I know he is having a field day in my thoughts and life. I’ve given him too much credit and most often am nagged by fear of being left behind, fear of missing Jesus on that day he comes for his church, fear that any day now he is going to give me what I deserve and something bad will happen to me. I’m in deep cover now and look more like the old me then the new creation I truly am. Does this happen to other Christians? What advice can you give?
A. I’ve heard of this happening but have not experienced it. I can tell you that it’s not from God. This is an enemy attack, so start by claiming the promise of James 4:7-8:
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
In your heart you know this fear is irrational. It’s a pretension that sets itself up against your knowledge of God. 2 Cor. 10:3-5 says we can take thoughts like the ones you’re having captive and make them obedient to Christ. You do this by reviewing the promises of God and using them to defeat the enemy. This is the model Jesus showed us when He withstood the Devil in the wilderness (Matt. 4).
One of His promises is that when you believed you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing your inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14). As long as you believe Jesus died for your sins and rose again you can’t be left behind. Knowing what you believe and why you believe it gives you strength that cannot be overcome.
Finally, instead of focusing on your feelings of failure, start applying Phil. 4:8, thinking about the good things in your life and recognizing that they’re all from God, because He is the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). The enemy will see he’s not going to win and will depart.