Desert of Denial

For a while I blamed my spiritual struggles on my circumstances. I had been spiritually reliant on the constant change in my life; the hard transitions of my life, moving around to new places, and knowing no one. These times in my life forced me to rely on God because he was and still is the only constant.  I soon became so comfortable and reliant on constant change that it became what pushed me towards the Lord and not a pure longing for a relationship with him.  Because there were no major changes in my life or really difficult circumstances. I was comfortable with life and felt like I had control. Life was good and I was happy but I felt dry spiritually.

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

Then I blamed it on my church. Upon moving to Spain I was trying to find a church to regularly attend and after attending a few I settled on one. Although not totally satisfied I just wanted to get settled. I was critical of many things in the different churches, mostly because they were totally different from churches I have grown up in. The messages seemed shallow and repeatedly about the same topic with little use of the bible or study of it. It wasn’t really challenging to people who we already believers. I blamed it on the churches I was attending that I wasn’t growing spiritually and being challenged. Ps … This isn’t the role of the church I was just trying to concieve it as such so I wouldn’t be to blame.

I was so helpless and frustrated about my spiritual state but too stubborn to change it.  At one point I read a verse in the bible that comforted me and reminded me that God is with me through everything and no matter what  I face. He will always be by my side and I will never be alone. I can get through anything, even though it seems endless. This was such a comfort but still not a solution or improvement to my spiritual state.

Then I realized it was only my own fault, nothing else was to blame. I am never in control and always need to be relying on God, in the highs AND the lows, not only when I feel like I need him. In Spain I got comfortable with life but spiritually stagnant and the easiest thing to blame it on was church. The truth is that I was in denial about my need for reliance on God and did not have a genuine yearning for him. I would have told you about my spiritual state and that I didn’t like where I was yet didn’t know how to change it. I think at the time that was the truth. But now I have come to terms about my denial. I was trying to fix my spiritual “problems” on my own. When going to church wasn’t enough I began to spend more time reading the bible (but not studying it) and when that didn’t help I just kept finding other ways to try to solve the problem and although some of them had good intentions and are necessary for the Christian life I was doing them for myself and not to seek the Lord or to draw closer to him. My prayer life was lacking because I didn’t dedicate the time to it. Ultimately this was the problem in the first place. I did not have my motivation and priorities straight, I need to want to draw closer to him and I didn’t even realize that I wasn’t.

Philippians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

My own strength is not enough. I was/am struggling spiritually and it is true in this case as well. I did not have the correct motivation although I was “doing all the right things”. I wanted to feel better spiritually and feel close to God but I was focusing on achieving that though religious practices instead of a genuine relationship with the Lord. My motivation was based on an emotion and not the need for the Lord. With my desires in mind I was not allowing the Lord to work in my life because I was more important.

But I can’t just fix it on my own … because the answer is Jesus, since this is a whole spiritual battle the answer is to rely on the Lord and grow in my relationship with him. This took me way too long to realize. And recovery is harder than ever.

But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” -Deuteronomy 4:29 –

Seek him with all your heart and you will find him. Searching for an emotion will get you nowhere.





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