Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Feeling Dry?

Feeling dry?

That’s was me two hours ago.

I couldn’t put my finger on the cause — my heart was just feeling dry.  Spiritually dull.  Bleh.

I did not have much hunger for Jesus, much love for His glory, or much passion for His cause.

But God calls us to love Him with all our hearts (Deut 6:5), warns us not to be lukewarm or complacent (Rev 3: 16), and commands us to rejoice in Him (Phil 3:1).

Okay …

But we can’t just will-power our way to joy, love, and passion.  We can’t turn feelings on and off like a light switch.

What can we do when we are feeling dry?

What helps me is Romans 15:13, where Paul says —

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

This verse answers three question —

Who can give me joy, peace, and hope

GOD can.  So there is hope.  I don’t have to keep feeling lukewarm.  Even though I can’t change my heart feelings, God can

How much can God change my heart?

Completely.  Don’t miss Paul’s language: God can FILL me with ALL joy and peace so I ABOUND in hope.  With how yucky I felt — that sounded impossible.  But so did God’s promise to free tiny Israel from massive Egypt.

How does God do this?

Through faith.  God fills us with joy and peace “IN BELIEVING.”  So I am not passive in this process.  If I will turn to trust Jesus Christ, God will change my heart.

This doesn’t happen instantly.  For me it usually means persistent battle.  But in time He will fill us with joy, peace, and hope.

So here’s what happened an hour ago.

I turned to Jesus just as I was with my lukewarm heart.

I didn’t try to change my heart first.  I turned to Jesus as I was — trusting His sacrificial death to pay for my guilt, and His blameless life to cover my sin.

I confessed my complacency and lukewarmness.

I admitted to God that if I saw Jesus as He really is, I would be full of joy and praise and passion for Him.  I confessed that something was keeping me from seeing Him clearly — maybe unbelief, or pride, or trusting something else as my Treasure.  I asked God to forgive me through Jesus’ death.

I asked for the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit

— to give me more faith (Mark 9:24), to show me Jesus (2Cor 3:18), and to change my heart (Psa 119:107).  I also needed to pray for more earnestness in prayer — as my prayer started off pretty wimpy.

I set my heart on Jesus.

I opened to Matthew 20 and read how Jesus felt pity for two blind men whom the crowds were shooing away (Matt 20:32-34).  I asked God to free me from whatever was blinding me, so I could see Jesus as He is.

As I read, and prayed, I started to sense the majesty of Jesus — the Creator of the Universe — who felt compassion for these needy men.  I felt a stirring of love and worship for this God of compassion.  I felt a growing desire to help other people come to know this God of compassion.

I don’t want to overstate it.  I was not yet filled with joy and peace and abounding in hope.  But my heart was changed.  I was no longer feeling dry.  I was no longer lukewarm and complacent.

Instead — I was feeling growing love for God and longing for others to know Him.

I thanked God for changing my heart.

This was all mercy.  I came to God with a heart that was bone-dry.  Hopelessly lukewarm.  But because of Jesus God welcomed me, showed me His glory in Jesus, and changed me.

A couple other thoughts —

Consider asking others to pray for you.

I love how honestly Martin Luther describes the state of his heart in this letter, as he begs his friend Melanchthon to pray for him.

Ask God to reveal if you are trusting something besides Christ as your Treasure.

When I am feeling dry it’s often because I am trusting something else to satisfy me — like applause from people.  If I’m trusting applause from people, and no one is applauding, I will feel lukewarm and complacent.

If that’s the case, I will not be restored to joy and peace until I turn from trusting applause, and once again trust Christ as my all-satisfying Treasure.

So search your heart to see if you are trusting something else to satisfy you.  That may be the reason you are feeling dry.

Don’t be discouraged if this takes time

Many psalms are written by men who are crying out to God to change their hearts, but have not yet seen their prayers answered.  So you are not alone.  Check out Psalms 13, 42, 43, 63, and 86.

I’ve had times when it’s taken quite some time before I experience God restoring my joy in Him.  What helps me during those seasons is to trust that the timing of my life is in His hands (Psa 31:15).

Why would God give me seasons where I am seeking Him and He is not immediately answering?  It’s because of His love and mercy to me.  It’s because those seasons can deepen my humility before Him, remind me of my neediness before Him, purify my motives, and make His heart-filling work even sweeter when He gives it.

Comments?  Feedback?

I’d love to hear them — leave a reply below.  Thanks.

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(Picture used with permission from anotherpioneer from Flickr.)

Category: Miscellaneous


8 Responses

  1. Paul Walton says:

    Hey Steve,

    I was reading 2 Cor. 3:18 this morning “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is Spirit.”

    And it occurred to me that we are transformed (becoming more like Christ) as we behold Him. We become what we behold, that is what we focus on, we will become.

    When we are feeling dry, we need the Holy Spirit to help us see Christ more clearly. It is so simple in theory, yet somewhat difficult because of indwelling sin. Where would we be without God’s grace, that is constantly flowing towards His elect, I shudder to think.

    His offer of mercy and grace is for all who will come, thank you Lord for calling me out of the darkness, I’m not feeling so dry anymore.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      You are so right, Paul. I love how you bring 2Cor3:18 into this discussion. The Living Water that quenches our heart thirsts comes as we see the glory of Jesus with the eyes of our hearts.

      And, yes, the only way our indwelling sin is overcome so we can see Jesus in that heart-satisfying way is by the ever-flowing grace of God.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, brother!

  2. Thanks for this encouragement. I love your suggestions. A couple of other things that help me are getting outside (I’m not sure why – creation just connects me to eternity somehow) and meditating on beloved passages (like Psalm 23, Psalm 131, the feeding of the 5000, etc.). When I put myself into the Scriptures, God’s love becomes more personal. Then too, I feel sure that persevering when we are driest brings God glory.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      I love your additional thoughts about beholding Creation and meditating on favorite passages — so true.

      And I appreciate your perspective in saying that persevering when we are driest brings God glory. I believe that is right on the money.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!


  3. Raphael says:

    Thank you for this. God bless you

  4. Kathryn says:

    If that’s the case, I will not be restored to joy and peace until I turn from trusting applause, and once again trust Christ as my all-satisfying Treasure.” How do I get here?!

    • Steve Fuller says:

      What I find helpful is to confess my love of applause to Jesus as sin, And receive assurance that through his death I am completely forgiven.

      Then I ask for the Spirit’s work to change my heart through his word.

      Then I find Scriptures that display Jesus’ glory, and pray over those Scriptures, asking the Spirit to help me see and feel his glory.

      I might ask others to pray with me, and for me. And I will keep praying on and off myself until I experience God changing my heart, through the word, by the Spirit.

      I hope that helps some, Kathryn,


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