You can do all the right things, you can pray, you can study scripture and still enter into a season when you just don’t feel like it’s accomplishing anything. That’s about the time discouragement sets in. What do you do when you feel like your effort is all in vain?
I think there are three key areas worth looking into. The first is our expectations. What are we expecting out of our time with Jesus? Are we expecting a daily emotional experience? Well, that’s probably not going to happen. Are we expecting lighting bolts of revelation every time we read scripture? Sorry to tell you, there are dry seasons. Not every devotional time will be a “moment” to remember, but every single one is significant, regardless of our perceived outcome.
You know how to seek the Lord, so keep practicing what you’ve learned even when it doesn’t seem to be working.
The second key area is our focus. What is our goal? Many times we put our attention on a desired outcome when really it should just be on Jesus. Our devotional time is not a time of accomplishment, but a place where we grow in devotion FOR Jesus. Sometimes we get caught up trying to recapture, or relive past encounters with the Lord. This pursuit rarely accomplishes its purpose. Instead let’s place our focus on what God has for us today and where He is leading us right now.
Each day is significant and God has instilled purpose into each one. We must allow Him to reveal it to us by investing first and foremost into our relationship with Him.
The final area we should look at is simple evaluating what season are we in. Growth has seasons, spiritual growth is no exception. In some seasons you plant, in some seasons you water, in some seasons grow, in some seasons you harvest, in some seasons you rest. True, some seasons are more enjoyable than others, but each one is important. We need to take the pressure off of trying to produce spiritual fruit. Our role is to remain faithful in our daily pursuit of Jesus and His role is produce fruitfulness.
John 15:4-5 (ESV) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Our role as Christians is first and foremost to abide in Jesus. We won’t always see growth, that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Remember that before growth is ever seen bursting from the soil, it is happening beneath the surface. We abide in Jesus, nourishing our relationship with Him, surrendering our will for His, trusting Him with ever facet of our lives.
He is good. He is trustworthy.
Continue your daily pursuit of Jesus.
Abide in Christ.