ON THE JOURNEY

James Hassell, Co-Pastor

One of the traits of Virginia with which I have been most impressed is the amount of rainfall. The annual average rainfall amount for Roanoke is forty-two inches. This amount is over twice the amount of rain we received in West Texas. I’ve seen soil so parched by drought that a shovel can’t hardly break through it. Just a few showers of rain, however, is usually enough to make the soil soft enough for a plow to cultivate and get the land ready for planting.


Imagine some areas in your life that may be parched by drought. How can the soil of those areas be made ready for cultivation? If you are experiencing a time of spiritual drought, here are some practices that may allow your heart to become more open to God’s love.


First, cry out to God. James the Apostle said, “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7-10, NIV). There have been times when I have taken days off to go hiking or to get by myself and pour out my soul to God. God desires for us to be in relationship with him. You can start this kind of prayer simply by calling out to God. Ask him questions about your pain. Wrestle with him. Tell him exactly what is on your mind.


Second, deal with things that hold us back from fully pursuing God. The writer of Hebrews said, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1, NIV). A good practice may be to create a list of sins or bad habits, then actually burn the list, and experience God’s forgiveness. Declare that these things in your life must go.


Third, begin to change your view of success. These days, we usually view success in terms of how much knowledge we have, or how many possessions we own. The Bible defines success in terms of obedience to what God asks of us. It is freeing to know that the ultimate measuring stick for our lives is Jesus Christ, not success as the world defines it. How could you be successful in following Jesus today?


-James