God woke me up again for the third day in a row at 5:00 A.M. to pray. I fought to get out of bed. The idea of sitting in silence and trying to pray felt draining; but, I’ve always done this, and it has never felt this way before. Why is it so different now? I don’t know about you, but every day that I miss morning time with the Lord, is one day too many; it’s like being disconnected from your life source. After all, life is more than a few extra minutes of sleep. To my dismay, this took a toll on me.
The following Saturday, the same week of missed prayer, I was driving to a women’s study in Signal Hills, a city one hour away from where I stay. It was an awkward drive because, for the first time in three days, I wanted to have an in-depth prayer session with the Lord. Well, the only thing I could tell Him was, “I’m sorry Lord. I’m so sorry that I disobeyed and didn’t pray when I was supposed to. I feel like I’m letting you down…I never make time for you.” That whole week, I didn’t read the scriptures, had no devotionals, and no prayers… nothing. I felt like I was in a spiritual rut. So, I continued to ramble on and on about how I was a poor example of a Christian woman. When I was finally done, the Holy Spirit gently rebuked me: “Do you believe in the perfect righteousness of Christ? Whose righteousness are you leaning on? Yours or Mine?”
Ladies, if you’re anything like me, you find yourself continually bogged down with responsibilities and things that need your attention. I’m not even counting natural things like last minute projects, scheduling activities for the kids, or doing a tune-up on your vehicle. Oh, and let’s not forget managing all the different relationships that we should not neglect. With so much going on in the world and our individual lives, if we’re honest, tending to our spiritual health by spending time with God is usually the first to take a back seat. Tragically, it’s easy to do. As you continue to miss quality time with God, you’ll begin to feel your spirit growing discouraged, weak, and slipping into condemnation. Well, I want to share with you five solutions to get yourself out of that spiritual gloom and back in harmony with the Father.
1. Go Back to Calvary
For some reason, we leave our confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior at the altar. However, this confession is the eternal sustaining power that enables us to live a Spirit-led life. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Believing in Jesus Christ’s sufficiency to save doesn’t stop after conversion; it’s an endless mechanism of faith that propels you into victory every day of your earthly life and beyond. How you appear before the Holy God is 100% Jesus and 0% you. It’s not about anything you do, nor your performance or adherence to God’s standard. You have put on Jesus Christ who masks your sins and imperfections forever. That’s why God encourages us to come boldly before His Throne because as living beings in Christ, we are made perfect and need not fear that our flawed and inconsistent nature will violate the holiness of God and cause His justified wrath to pour out on us. So, refocus your faith on Jesus Christ’s finished work at the Cross and not whether or not you can get up every morning to pray.
2. Start Back As Soon As Possible
The misconception in getting back on track with God is to wait until we feel our most spiritual. For example, if I usually spend time with God in the mornings, and start skipping mornings, I feel like I have to wait until the next morning to completely start over. Don’t do this. Once you’ve realized you’ve gone off course, decide that moment to do Step 1 and assign your next available downtime as your moment to reset. Instead of watching Netflix, going to the store to shop, or taking a nap, use that stored time to get before the Father.
I remember one night, I was frantically pacing around in my room because my mind was drowning in lies of the enemy. It was pretty bad. In my mind, I needed to formally pray: (1) worship for a while, (2) be still, and (3) pray as I feel led. However, with my spirit wholly broken, I just dropped to the floor crying, barely breathing, and began praying to the Lord for His help and deliverance. I even preached the Gospel to myself. I wasted no time contemplating how to seek Him. I took no thought. I stopped thinking about how to fight these lies and just started focusing on the Lord. In a matter of minutes, the Lord gave me comfort, and that heavy spirit lifted off of me. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. The point is, don’t think about it. Don’t try to map out a blueprint of how to best create a space to seek God. Surrender and find free time in your day, and commit it to undistracted prayer time. Stay encouraged!
3. Don’t Judge Yourself
As women, wives, mothers, daughters, and career/businesswomen, we can be tough on ourselves. There’s already enough pressure from the world. How do we manage to have room to put more pressure from ourselves? This picture-perfect woman exists nowhere in the world but our heads. Beloved, you were fearfully and wonderfully made. “Fearfully” seems like an odd choice of word for such a proclamation. The proverbs say that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom and fear are intertwined in a way that I don’t have time to go into now. But what I want to underscore is when God knitted you in your mother’s womb, He did it with a purposeful design. God created you intricately and distinctively; you are unlike any other human being on this earth. Therefore, the creation of you came from the wisdom of God.
Although we have been designed so magnificently, God’s wisdom doesn’t ignore our fragile nature. God is mindful of our limitations. He knows that our days are like the flowers of the field that is tossed by the wind and is remembered no more.
“As a father pities his children,
so the LORD pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.”
Thus, if God has the perfect knowledge of the fragility of man, why don’t we cut ourselves some slack? I’m not saying you don’t strive to do the best you can; instead, when you cannot live up to the expectations of your family, bosses, friends, and clients don’t rip yourself apart. You aren’t higher than God to hold yourself above His evaluation of you.
4. Search, Study and Pray the Scriptures
God’s Word is alive! It’s active! It’s living! It’s everlasting! What worked for the saints of old, will work for us today and forever. Thus, the weapons of our warfare are not swords, guns, or brass knuckles. Too many times, believers attempt to overcome struggle and the “rut” by taking a mini-vacation, exercising, shopping, eating, sleeping, reading self-help books, or purposing to stay busy—misdiagnosing thus improperly treating the cause of conflict. Understand that our battle is spiritual. Every situation that we face stems from the invisible forces of good and evil that we’re up against 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Thank God for His Holy Spirit who is greater than he that is in the world. Jesus’ authority over the world, flesh, and the devil is in us. The same power that rose Him from the grave lives in us. So exercise the sword of the Spirit and overcome Satan’s deception, traps, and plots to destroy you by dismantling them with the scriptures. Flashcards with scriptures are handy to keep with you as reminders to meditate on God’s holy and powerful Word.
5. Worship the Lord Your God
Lastly, when you put a magnifying glass up to the small text, the text is bigger, clearer, and easier to see. It’s the same when we worship. Our worship is the magnifying glass. The focus turns to God, and He becomes much clearer and easier to perceive. Additionally, God inhabits the praises of His People. When you worship the Lord, you are magnifying Him and minimizing yourself and your problems—placing everything in their proper place relative to God. He renews your mind and causes your spiritual equilibrium or balance to be restored. Completely surrender in worship and adoration. Don’t worry about how you sound, how you might feel, that’s just the enemy trying to make you feel stupid; I promise, when you completely surrender to God in worship, His presence will dwell with you. Don’t look for a feeling, or an emotional response, simply enlarge Him. When you can perceive the greatness of God, you’ll instantly be drawn out of that gloom. I love playing instrumental worship music in the background, and there are times I’ll worship to some of my favorite Christian artists (Son of God by Cory Asbury gets my whole life together!). However, try not to rely solely on worship music to lead you because it can emotionally influence our worship and handicap us whereby, unless we have music playing, we don’t feel connected. Jesus wants us to worship in spirit and truth.
Remember, we are spiritual beings in physical bodies. Whenever our moods change, and we start to grow distant, it’s imperative that we press into God more than usual. Ignoring our emotions calls for a significant denial of our self—total surrender, but a couple of minutes in the presence of the Lord is better than completing a perfect task list of responsibilities for an entire day (though that’s impressive). In an ever-changing world, we need constant reminders to ground ourselves on the Solid Rock -- Jesus Christ; for when God is with you, nothing else matters and everything is okay.