Getting Out of a Spiritual Rut [EP:114]


O God, you are my God;

     I earnestly search for you.

My soul thirsts for you;

     My whole body longs for you

in this parched and weary land

     where there is no water.


Can you relate to these words written by David in Psalm 63?

Do you feel like you are searching for God? Maybe you can feel the dryness of your soul and you know it is impacting your life and leadership. Maybe you are worn out. The journey has depleted you, it’s made you tired and even though you search for God you can’t seem to connect with Him. He feels distant and you feel lost.


We all go through times when we feel less connected to God and there can be a variety of reasons for it. Maybe you feel stuck as you seek to grow in intimacy with God. Nothing you’re doing right now makes you feel like you are growing closer to Him. Maybe you are not able to hear Him because you are distracted or not stopping to listen. Or maybe you have hit what Pete Scazzero calls, "the wall" and you are in a deeper place of distress because of God’s silence and perceived absence. All of these things are a normal part of life with God and the good news is that when we find ourselves in these places, it is because God loves us and wants us to be even more intimately connected and dependent on Him. 

In this episode, we talk about being in a spiritual rut and I share some tips that may help you. The reason why this is so important is that the state of our soul directly impacts our life and ministry. The condition of our soul affects every part of our life...all of it. And if we don’t attend to our inner life with God and try different ways to connect with God when we are feeling thirsty for Him, we could be setting ourselves up for depletion and burnout.


Our relationship with God is the strength that carries us through all of life and it is our relationship with God and His strength that allows us to serve in the place He has called us to. Our doing for Him comes directly out of our intimacy and meaningful connection with Him. Too many of us feel like David...parched, searching, weary, longing for God AND we don’t do anything different. We keep doing the same things expecting, hoping for a different result. While you can’t fix it (God is the fixer of things) you can explore with God and try some things to put you in a place that helps you be open to God and what He is doing.


If you feel dry, if you feel like you just aren’t able to connect, you may be in a spiritual rut. You may need to reposition yourself (maybe literally in a different place) and do some things with God a little differently.


Some of the thoughts I’m sharing are things that I rediscovered as I recently read a book by Gary Thomas called “Sacred Pathways: Nine Ways to Connect With God" and I wanted to make sure to acknowledge his work. 


Here are some tips to help you explore different ways that you can connect and love God. 


PRAY. God, I’m not connecting. I’m not feeling like I’m connecting. Help me. Take me beyond my feelings. Pray the words of Psalm 63.


Go back to your Gethsemane.  You may know the garden of Gethsemane as the scene of the agony and arrest of Jesus and therefore it is a place of great mental or spiritual suffering. That’s what I always think of when I hear Gethsemane. While this is true, there is something that Gary Thomas pointed out in his book Spiritual Pathways that I had missed. Jesus went out and made his way as usual to the Mount of Olives. (Luke 22:39)

John 18 says, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. Judas the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. Jesus went back to a place that was familiar. It was a place that He had often visited. 

Do you have a place? Do you have a place you like to meet with God? Where is it? Where do you feel drawn to Him? Go back if you can and if you can't get to that particular place, go back to the type of place.

Discover how you connect with God in this season. God doesn’t change, His love doesn’t change, but how we connect with Him can and often does. We tend to narrow our approach from our past experience or what others tell us we should be doing. Consider your wonderful, unique design and imagine how that might help you connect with God. Explore what you and God can do together as you worship, pray, read the scripture, and listen.


Learn from others. This is another way to explore. Not because you want to copy someone else. Not because you are looking for the right way. But sometimes it’s helpful to get ideas. Again, our thinking is so narrow...we never even consider connecting with God in certain ways, it just hasn’t crossed our mind, it wasn’t on our radar. As we listen to others we can be inspired by God to lean in to Him in different ways. And we may find encouragement in hearing stories about how others have also found themselves in a dry and weary land.


Experiment. You are not going to know until you try. You may be surprised. You can’t fail. You will learn something about you and something about God.


Be a good steward of your life for the long haul. Spiritual replenishment, soul care, self care are all intertwined and absolutely necessary in order to develop Christ-like character and glorify God in whatever you. Too many people are not speaking up for themselves and creating the rhythms and boundaries necessary to do what God has called them to do for the long haul. Burnout is real. In fact, God wants to connect with you because you matter to Him apart from what you do!


Connect with Jen

If God is revealing to you that you need to attend to your soul and journey with Him to be a healthier leader but you just don’t know where to start, let’s connect. Let’s have a discovery call and figure out your next step. You can schedule one HERE.


Whatever you do, whether or not you want to hang out together, don’t keep doing the same thing hoping for a different result. Lean into God and what He is trying to do in you.



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