Why Do We Experience Dryness When We
Go Without Christian fellowship?
Col 2:10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all
principality and power.
A good friend of mine experienced
"dryness" when his job forced him to go without Christian
fellowship for a few weeks. He wondered, did this mean he was not
complete in Christ? His question got me meditating.
Like him, I have also experienced
"dryness" when I go for a time without the fellowship of God's
people. In the verse above, the word "you" in "you are
complete in Him" is plural. That signifies all of us. I think that
my friend, and all true believers, are complete in Christ, just
as the verse above says.
But this is fully experienced only
through abiding in Christ. As we abide, there is a vertical flow of life
that flows from the head into the body. There is also a horizontal flow
of life - of the Holy Spirit - from one member of the body of Christ to
another. This is represented by the laying on of hands, which
Hebrews six calls a basic or foundational doctrine of the faith. When I
experienced this dryness I inwardly sensed that the horizontal flow of
life had been cut off.
A mysterious and wonderful passage is
God has put all things under His
feet, and has appointed Him universal and supreme Head of the Church,
which is His Body, the completeness of Him who everywhere fills the
universe with Himself.
We are complete in Christ, but
Christ experiences His completeness through... us! How cool is
that! Doesn't that make you feel valuable?
If He fills His body, then we can
experience Him through other members of His body. Is that one reason why
we feel dry -like something is missing - without Christian fellowship? I
know it is a blessing I don't want to be without. And I don't think God
wants us to be without it, either, since he commanded us not to forsake
the assembling of ourselves together. But like my friend, I do not want that
to be a substitute for the vertical flow of life. Is the vertical flow
strong enough that I could still thrive - if thrown in prison for my
faith, for instance, without that horizontal flow?
So is that feeling of dryness a sign
that something is wrong with the vertical flow? That is a matter for the
Spirit of God to reveal to each of us. I think it is natural for us to
feel like something is missing when the horizontal flow is cut off,
because it is healthy for it to be there. When we experience the
dryness, we must get the flow of life going again. If it is impossible
for it to come horizontally -if we are thrown in prison for our faith,
for instance - it must all come vertically. In that case, we must seek
God more, recognizing that all along, He alone has been our sufficiency.
After all, the life that came through our brethren was His all along.
Meanwhile, I must ask myself, how
strong is that vertical flow? Am I allowing anything to obstruct it?
Rusty Entrekin is a theology graduate
of Louisiana College. He and his wife Julie have seven children, with
four still at home, and four grandchildren. Currently, he resides in
Kennesaw, GA. He writes apologetic and theological articles to help
people come to know Christ and grow closer to the Lord. If this article
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