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DRY TIMES

 

By Dr. Richard Ing

September 7, 2005

 
All Christians go through dry seasons.  This is not a stunning or new revelation. Dry times are ordained by God.  It is part of His plan and purpose for you and me: to test, harden and prove us.  During such times, God exposes what is in our heart.  He already knows what‘s there; he wants you to know.  The important thing is - how do you respond to God and the saints when you are experiencing dry times?

 
Dry times are sometimes short and sometimes long.  Moses’ dry season lasted forty years.  It humbled Moses to the point that he was emptied of all self-ambition and desire for recognition.  Joseph’s dry time lasted perhaps ten years as he was sold into slavery and later thrown into prison.  It matured a once impetuous youth and proved his heart of faithfulness and diligence.  His trust in God never faltered.  Peter’s time was only a week or so but was intense when he denied the Lord.  He learned humility and God’s grace. 

 
Peter’s dry time changed him from an arrogant fisherman to one so humble that it changed him from a coward to a martyr, willing to do anything for the Lord.  Paul’s time was a few days when God knocked him off his high horse and rendered him blind.  He didn’t eat or drink for three days.  In the end, he was willing to die for the One he had persecuted.  David had intermittent dry seasons.  He slept in ditches and caves for years.  Later, his family suffered great loss.        David’s adultery and murder was exposed.  He learned humility and repentance.  He never faltered in his quest to have a heart like God’s.

 
Sometimes, dry periods come right after wonderful spiritual victories.  In one day, Elijah single-handedly killed 450 prophets of Baal and 400 priests that ate off the table of Jezebel.  The very next day, he was fleeing into the desert in fear of Jezebel.  We all have dry times whether we are famous or not.

 
Not everyone who goes through dry spells comes out victorious.  King Saul never learned from his.  He lost his kingdom when he failed to repent and learn obedience.  The tormenting spirit that disquieted him never changed his heart and he drifted further away from God.  Samson was given much power by God, but it never changed his heart.  It was not until his enemies poked his eyes out and tossed him in prison that he learned that he was nothing without God.  His dry period was painful. 

 
Balaam lost his ability to prophesy and to hear from God, but instead of repenting and humbling himself, he became a witch and was killed by his own people.

 
What’s your dry time like?  You may feel spiritually wrung out, exhausted and fatigued.  You have lost the desire to “hang out” with other Christians and have no reason to attend mid-week sessions.  Your morning prayer becomes either sporadic or non-existent and your Bible reading becomes limited to one-liners.  You come late or just in time for services or meetings because you have no real intention of coming early.  Services do not excite you.  Gone are the days when you could hardly wait to come to church to share or fellowship with the saints.  Church has become a chore.  You haven’t volunteered to do something for the church for months or even years and you haven’t shared the Gospel of Salvation with anyone for years.  Maybe you have been ill for a time or your family is in disarray.  You are unemployed and too old to start over.  You’re just hanging on by your fingernails. 

 
Congratulations!  Join the crowd.  Take a seat among the dry bones.

 
REJOICE!

 
The Bible is clear that problems and tests and trials are part of your training.  You lost your job or you hate your job.  Someone close to you just betrayed you.  You just received a bill that you cannot pay.  You just want to stay in bed and never get up. 

 
You are being honored!  The privilege of having trials is being handed to you!  In fact, if you have never hit the wall in your Christian walk, you’re a bastard!

            My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and  scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chaseneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards. Heb. 12:6. 

 
Do you know what “scourgeth” means?  It means to be flogged or whipped.  (Strong’s Concordance, Greek Dictionary #3146 and #3148)  Ever been flogged or whipped?  You may not feel like it in the physical, but in the spirit you may feel laid out and flattened and bleeding to death.  You can hardly get up in the morning at times and certainly not to pray.  You feel dry inside and have no energy.  Your spirit hurts.

 
THE SCOURGING

 
Jesus was flogged and whipped before He walked up Calvary to Golgatha to be nailed to the cross.  All of us Christians are being prepared to walk up that same hill to be crucified.  But first, Self has to be flogged and whipped to pieces!  Anyone who refuses to pick himself up and carry his own cross will never make it to the top of the hill where the Savior waits.  The door to God’s inner chamber is the cross.  Romans 6:3-5 says,

             Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?  Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. 

 
Yes, we died with Him on the cross and were baptized into  His death.  When we came out of the waters of baptism, we were raised from the dead and therefore, should walk in the newness of life, in the likeness of His resurrection.

 
The provision was made for us to enter into resurrection life, but the reality or experience of it was left to each individual saint.  You were inducted as a soldier into God’s army, but you were not yet a finished product.  Becoming a strong, loyal, disciplined and obedient soldier like the Lord of hosts takes much chastening, scourging and dry periods.  Some fail the test over and over again.  A few overcome and move on to higher levels with God.


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