Sentinels For Christ :: Getting Out of A Spiritual Rut

Getting Out of A Spiritual Rut

Posted by jimgrier on February 18, 2019

     Have you ever been in a situation or crisis that was really intense and you didn’t know what to do? Often these situations are compounded by having people closest to us involved. We pray intensely asking for direction, a scripture, or something that will direct us on how to respond to the situation at hand. We are hoping to avoid a mistake and the subsequent conflict with our loved one, and then NOTHING! We hear nothing and so, we repeat this process over and over asking God for direction, insight, or anything that may be helpful. During this self-inflicted ritual (Matthew 6:7amp – And when you pray, do not use meaningless repetitions as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.) we never get peace and continue until the situation has resolved itself, sometimes in a less than perfect way than we were hoping for.

     During a recent “situation” involving some financial changes that were required, I found myself in this situation. Not only did I continually cry out to God, but, I enlisted the help of a friend. My friend prayed continually, offering me and the situation up, looking for God’s solution. Becoming more aware of the Lord’s presence and promptings since taking a missions trip to Scotland, I was bewildered by the lack of response being received by both of us. I was especially upset because this very topic had recently caused a potentially relationship ending conflict between myself and a family member.

     Then, (don’t you love that word?) I happened to be reading an electronic daily devotional and the blog for the particular day was a commentary on Philippians 4:6-7. The Amplified version reads: Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything (every circumstance and situation) by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your (specific) requests known to God. And the peace of God (that peace which reassures the heart, that peace) which transcends all understanding, (that peace which) stands guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (is yours).

      From that moment on, I did just what the scripture said! I repented of my fretting and worry, presenting the dilemma in prayer. I needed a particular service and the estimated cost was $5,000 - $10,000 and the final amount could not be determined because of what was involved. I contacted a second professional and explained my need. My specific request to God was for the cost to be less than $4,500 as this seemed reasonable to me, and my family member’s agreement.  Imagine my astonishment when the bid presented for the work was in total $3,000!! This is a big difference between $3000 and a possible $5,000 to $10,000. And yes the conflict with the family member immediately dissipated.

     The Lord often repeats what He is showing or teaching us several times. A few days later, a similar situation with a different family member, occurred. This time, although I immediately felt stress coming on, I handled it differently by getting on my knees right away and in prayer and with petition, I thanked the Lord for a quick resolution to the issue presenting itself. Later that day, I spoke to my family member, who indicated that the presenting issue had “for now” resolved and I was able to verbalize what perimeters were needed for me, to provide what they indicated they needed from me, should the issue present itself again.

      What I learned from these situations is 1) the importance of reading the Bible regularly, routinely, and putting the Word of God first before praying, worshipping, talking to friends & family, etc. and then doing/obeying what it says to do. 2) Having given the Word first place we can move into the other practices such as prayer, worship, and seeking counsel from others. Everything MUST be measured by the Word of God. There are many excellent guides to Bible reading, but, if you do not find one, start out by reading the epistles because they are the letters to the church. Set a timer, turn it away from you, for thirty minutes and begin to read. Unless you receive a prompting to read a different passage, read until you hear the timer go off, mark your place, and go on to something else. There will be many temptations to wander away, thinking you will reset the timer where you left off while you call your Aunt Millie, but don’t do it! Aunt Millie will be just as happy to hear from you later.

     Another interruption may be other people. Find a quiet place where you can be alone and not get interrupted. Turn off the TV and radio, leave your cell phone in the other room, turn the stove off, etc.

     God will give you the grace to spend this necessary time and you will train yourself in the things of God as you do it! This is a win/win for both you and the Lord.

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