Spiritual dryness describes a feeling of being depleted or empty. Many people describe it as feeling far from the presence of God or having minimal or no spiritual growth. A number of things can cause this season of drought, but God’s mercies are new every day. He provides ways to overcome spiritual dryness. God’s Word promises refreshment is available to those who are spiritually dry.
“In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.”
What Causes Spiritual Dryness?
Many situations and mindsets can cause spiritual dryness. Lust and pride are listed in 1 John 2:16…
“For all that is in this world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”
Spiritual dryness comes when unchecked lust consumes our thoughts.
Peter said that fleshly lusts wage “war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). Fleshly desires dull the senses of spiritual things. We start to chase after things of this world rather than things of the Kingdom, which leaves us dry.
- Ask God to reveal to you any areas of your life that are unchecked. What are you “consuming” that is actually drying you up rather than refreshing and nourishing your spirit? This could be watching certain movies, listening to certain music, or gathering with people who speak against God’s Word.
Spiritual dryness comes when pride creeps in.
Pride is the sin that kills faith and trust in God. Pride crept into the Garden of Eden, and it creeps into our lives today. When we go through life and feel “good” about our state of being, we can forget the Lord and think all that we have is from our own strength and doing.
Pride seeks adoration and appreciation. It forgets that great and mighty things will be done by God's Spirit, not by our strength.
- Ask God to reveal areas where pride has crept in. God says that He gives grace to the humble and resists the proud. If you are feeling spiritually dry, humbly come before God and repent. Ask Him to renew a right spirit within you (Psalm 51:10-12).
Spiritual dryness comes from a lack of prayer and of time spent in God’s Word.
The Bible says that God’s Word is a lamp and a light. It reveals how we should live. We are often spiritually dry because we don’t know what to do in a given situation. We become so focused on other things or the difficulty of our situation that it takes away from prayer and time in God’s Word.
Spiritual dryness is a red flag to cut out distractions and carve out time with God every day.
- Ask God what you need to let go of to receive refreshment from the Living Water. This takes spiritual discipline and commitment, but the harvest will be abundant in due season.
These are not all of the causes of spiritual dryness, but they will provide a foundation for further exploration to pinpoint and overcome spiritual dryness in your life.
Spiritual dryness is an invitation from God to draw nearer to Him.
The Beauty That Comes from Spiritual Dryness
Spiritual dryness is not pleasant, but it is a reality for us at various times in our faith journey. As with anything—in times of joy and trials—we must be willing to ask God what He wants us to see and learn from every circumstance. Seasons of spiritual dryness are no different.
To overcome spiritual dryness, we must have a teachable heart and see the beauty that can ultimately come from it.
- “Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”—John 7:38-39
Jesus said if anyone thirsts, come. Spiritual dryness leaves us thirsty. But unless we thirst, we won’t draw near to the One who can give us living water. The key to overcoming spiritual dryness is to reposition our minds to come to Jesus and drink!
Like the Samaritan woman, we don’t have to hang out by the well, working hard to quench our own thirst. Jesus offers water that will be like a fountain springing up into everlasting life.
- “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’”—John 4-:3-14
7 Ways to Overcome Spiritual Dryness
- Recognize it as an invitation.
Spiritual dryness is an invitation to come to God. The enemy doesn’t want us to see it as an invitation but rather a justification to complain and become bitter. Overcome spiritual dryness by seeing God’s invitation in it. When His water flows through us, it refreshes and washes away the bitterness of the enemy.
- Use David’s example in Psalm 42.
In Psalm 42, David found himself in a spiritually dry season. He was thirsty for the presence of God. God used a circumstance to cause David to thirst. He does the same with us today by using circumstances that cause us to seek after Him like we never have before.
David called out to God and remembered the things of his past—the good ‘ol days—and his soul was cast down. However, rather than staying in this downcast place, David writes, “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, for the help of His countenance.”
David doesn’t allow his feelings about his situation to drive him. He decides to praise and hope in God.
- Spend time in worship
Worshiping, personally and corporately, releases refreshment when our soul is dry. Praise and worship center our minds on God and speak of who He is and what He is doing in our lives. Jesus said, “those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Worship aligns our spirit with God and helps overcome spiritual dryness.
- Get into the Word.
Reading the Word to overcome spiritual dryness seems obvious. But more often than not, this is the one area the enemy hits hard when he tries to keep us feeling hopeless in the wilderness. To overcome spiritual dryness, get into the Word and meditate on what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).
- Pray out loud.
Quiet prayers are powerful. However, sometimes when we pray quietly, we can get lost in thought rather than prayer. Praying out loud helps to keep our focus. Praying scripture out loud is an excellent way to overcome spiritual dryness.
Psalm 103 is a wonderful Psalm to pray when you need to overcome spiritual dryness and to help your soul to get in line with the Spirit of God. Tell your mind, will, and emotions to praise the Lord and forget not all His benefits.
Keeping a journal of the ways God is working in your life and in the lives of those around you is encouraging. It allows you to look back and see how He answered your prayers in ways you could never have imagined. God speaks to our hearts today. Write down the words He speaks to you and reflect on all the ways God works things out for good.
- Join community.
Being involved in and doing life with a community of believers helps us overcome spiritual dryness. When we are alone, we become dry and bitter. Community helps to guard against spiritual dryness. And even when it happens, there are people who can come alongside you and lift you up, so you don’t have to wander in the wilderness for longer than necessary. Are you looking for spiritual refreshment? Revival is coming! Ask the God of life to refresh your dry soul.