Dr. Lindstrom, I have a question that I’ve struggled with all of my saved life. There are times when my spiritual life feels dry, and I’ve backslidden. The things of God don’t excite me anymore, and I stop doing the things that draw me near to Him, such as daily praying and Bible study. I know that to build the relationship, those are the activities I should engage in, but it feels like a works type of mentality when the “shoulds” get in there. I “should” read my Bible everyday, because if I don’t, my relationship with God will suffer. I pray that the Lord will give me the desire to be in His word and on my knees, that it won’t just be something to check off of my to do list. Have you ever struggled with this? How do you draw close to God when you’re in a spiritual desert while also avoiding the “check it off the list” attitude?
The good news is that Jesus promised that ‘as many as come to me, I will in no wise cast out’ John 6:37. You will never lose your salvation. Many people go through the same experience, which you have described. We’re all human, we ALL face the same types of hardships. I’m sure the Apostle Paul felt like you many times. Paul writes in Romans 7:14-24 much about his life an yours – take time and dwell upon this and realize you are not alone but can have victory just as Paul had. You need to fight as best you can to over come your old sin nature trying to take over. Paul says in Galatians 5:17, 18, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” You need to watch the company and surrounding which you keep and the lack of the proper company and surroundings. You need to get into church as often as possible and more, and ask fellow Christians whether close or not to pray for your request whether known or unknown. When you are down you’ve got to get up… then start swinging! Always remember that the victory is yours! Get up and fight the good fight… run the race with new optimism!