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"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,  and perfect, will of God."   -Romans 12:2

 

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 Ephesians 1:22-23:
 
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 has blessed you, and you would like to free him up to write more, you may make a donation below.

Rusty previously decided not to apply for 501c3 ministry status, so that he can write about political matters without worrying about government interference. Because of this, your gifts will not be tax deductible. However, you will receive a far greater reward for your donation:  treasure in heaven!