Sharing a Laubach Lesson
Dryness and Life in the Spirit
I have a small group of spiritual friends who meet each Tuesday night. What is printed below are some notes from the lesson that we will be discussing tonight.
John 7.37 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38 and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Many people tell us of sharp disappointment soon after they have had a great spiritual experience.
I believe it is because our bucket is filled up, and there is no room for more. We begin to coast along on the memory of a wonderful experience, and it goes stale.
The Spirit of God is like gasoline in the tank of an automobile. It is of no use unless it is harnessed to accomplish something.
If you have had a spiritual experience and it is slipping from your grasp, if you look up to heaven and it seems deaf, then stop looking toward heaven and look toward humanity. You can’t have a great spiritual experience again until you have given the one you do have to someone else.
Question: What do you think about Laubach’s explanation of how we get stale in our Christian lives?
(1) It may explain why I get tired of praying and reading the Bible. If I am not putting into action the the things I read, it does not have any relationship to my everyday life.
(2) The truth is, I am not often aware of the Holy Spirit at work in my life. If I paid better attention to the presence of the Holy Spirit and if I looked for people to serve, I may sense more of God’s activity.
(3) I actually have been living with God and giving to others. As I do this, I experience God’s presence like never before.
(4) Some other answer.
Why do people have dry periods in their spiritual lives?
I believe it is because they forget human need and stop the flow of God’s Spirit. Buckets cannot contain the Holy Spirit. Only pipe lines open at both ends can hold the Spirit.
Heaven is neither deaf nor empty. All the resources of the universe are there, ready to be poured on the world. We hold the faucet in our hands. We decide, but the law of God’s giving is this, “Give and it will be given to you.”
The water of life will flow to us only if it flows through us. You can’t keep it unless you give it away.
Question: What needs to happen in our lives for the life-giving Spirit to flow through us?
(1) If I am going to be a river, I have to be connected to the Spirit who is the Source of all spiritual power.
(2) I can’t stop at just being connected to the Spirit. I also have to be connected to people who need something from me. I need both to be connected to the Source and to the Outlet.
(3) A pond is something that is often on private property. A river is often free for everyone to use. I want to be more like a river than I want to be like a pond.
(4) Some other answer.
Love and Spiritual Health
Matthew 5.23 “So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.”
Love does not mean self-love. The moment someone tries to keep God all to himself he ceases to have love; he only has self-love.
It is easier to love God than to love people. The God we see in Jesus is the most lovable person in the universe – but people are often contemptible.
We must school ourselves to love people who need us most because they are not attractive.
As we grow closer to Christ, we see more clearly the sins and weaknesses of humankind. The greatest temptation of someone who is trying to be a follower of Jesus is to be critical of those who do not share his Christian ideals.
A great many followers of Jesus are blocked because they try to hold God to only one channel. Catholics only see Catholics. Baptists only see Baptists. Pentecostals only see Pentecostals.
The little “I don’t like this!” whispered in every direction frustrates God. He must discover some way to get past us to get his will done in spite of our silent rebellion. Just think about how we talk about the weather.
Question: How can we best learn the law of love?
(1) I am going to consciously think of ways to serve other people. I will begin by really listening to them when they speak.
(2) I am going to notice how often my speech is negative. I will choose to turn my negatives into positives.
(3) I am going to open my mind to the bigness of God. If he loves all kinds of people, why can’t I?
(4) Some other answer.
Glenn Clark’s pamphlet, “The Divine Plan”
Glenn Clark believes that in every instant of the day every incident that arises is God’s best answer to our need at that particular moment. He who is willing to listen to God, no matter from what direction God speaks, will never know spiritual dryness. The greatest and highest lesson to learn is to say yes to God who is speaking forever and forever in six billion ways.
One reason why it is so difficult to say “yes” is that God’s voice upsets our own previous intentions.
You and I struggle between two things, both of which are right – the right we had planned to do and the right which it seems to us God’s is telling us to do now.
Is this the answer: that God gives us judgment and expects us to use our judgment to decide when the devil tempts us? Are we to use our best judgment and then have faith that that is his Voice?