In my ministry I talk to a lot of people who are spiritually dry. They are Seasoned Believers and Seasoned Leaders but they have not had a recent transforming experience with God. And they don't know why.
One pastoral leadership couple came to see me because their marriage was in deep, deep trouble. They were at a big Evangelical Church out west and it was growing in leaps and bounds.
Revival was occurring to many, salvations were common and giving was up to build a mega-sanctuary to hold the harvest. But neither of them was happy. It had been years since "The joy of the Lord had been their strength."
It took a crisis to get them to call. It always does. Prevention is not in a Seasoned Leader's vocabulary. I flew out to be with them for a few days and after telling me their tales of woe, I asked him about his spiritual life.
Gary: "Tell me about your relationship with God."
Pastor Don: I am dry; very dry.
G: Do you pray?
PD: I am so rushed and my mind is so full of things I need to do that I can't rest in prayer.
G: Have you ever had a deep heart experience with then Holy Spirit?
PD: Oh, yes. That is what drew me into the ministry. As a college student I was all fired up for God and loved to be with Him.
G: How did that happen? What seemed to "work" to help you experience God?
PD: I came to Christ in college and worshipped with a small group of students. We learned how to listen to the Lord. That is where I met Mary. She was a wonderful small group leader and we prayed together. We regularly met and listend to God about what to do. That became a wonderful time of loving God and each other. We decided to go to seminary and get married.
G: But that is not happeneing now?
PD:I have not heard God's voice in years!"
G: How about prayer in small groups?
PD: Well, in seminary Mary had to work and I studied and then we had kids. We haven't prayed together for years. And seminary was tough with Greek, Hebrew and preaching. And they warned us in seminary against getting involved in a lot of "Mystical Experiences". Pastors can't get in a group and start sharing all their issues. It isn't safe. We haven't been in a small group since college.
G: Would you be open to hearing God again or has seminary moved you away from that kind of experience?
PD: Wow. I don't know. What would my profs and ministry brothers say? (Continued)
Come to the Abiding Prayer Workshop on March 15. You will learn Simple Steps to Spiritual Renewal.
Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org with name, address and phone number.