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