Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Draw near to God – Day 18

Draw near to God during seasons of drought

Bible text(s)

8“My thoughts,” says the LORD, “are not like yours,

and my ways are different from yours.

9As high as the heavens are above the earth,

so high are my ways and thoughts above yours.

Isaiah 55:8-9GNBOpen in Bible reader

5In the past I knew only what others had told me,

but now I have seen you with my own eyes.

23Examine me, O God, and know my mind;

test me, and discover my thoughts.

24Find out if there is any evil in me

and guide me in the everlasting way.

Psalms 139:23-24GNBOpen in Bible reader

3Who has the right to go up the LORD's hill?

Who may enter his holy Temple?

4Those who are pure in act and in thought,

who do not worship idols

or make false promises.

Psalms 24:3-4GNBOpen in Bible reader

13Whenever I hold back the rain or send locusts to eat up the crops or send an epidemic on my people, 14if they pray to me and repent and turn away from the evil they have been doing, then I will hear them in heaven, forgive their sins, and make their land prosperous again. 15I will watch over this Temple and be ready to hear all the prayers that are offered here,

2 Chronicles 7:13-15GNBOpen in Bible reader

[Someone once wrote the following e-mail to me: “Please help the farmers to pray during drought seasons. It’s not a once-off event and some are in situations that they may lose their farms, if the rain doesn’t come.”]

For farmers, it may be a season of drought, but for you, it might be your barrenness or your struggle to find a job, or debt hanging like a dagger over your head, or a disease, or perhaps an unbelieving spouse. We pray for rain and, sometimes, it seems as if the clouds are gathering with the promise of rain, and our hearts are filled with hope, but then it disappears and we are left with more questions than answers. Is that how you feel today? You pray for a breakthrough, but you don’t experience immediate answers?

Here are three things that we can remember during seasons of drought in our lives:

1) God remains in control: In Isaiah 55:8-9 God says: “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts … And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” None of us are immune to challenges just because we are believers. We live in a broken world. The advantage, however, is that we can know that God will never leave nor forsake us. If we continue to praise God during seasons of drought, we live out our testimony to the people around us, but at the same time, it also becomes a sign of our faith in God. He sees it and will reward it (Matthew 6:6b).

2) Drought is an opportunity to honour God: The waiting time for rain forces us to our knees where we discover God’s character in a fresh new way. After Job’s hardest season in his life, he looked back and said: “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes” (Job 42:5). When the rain comes after a season of drought, we are often not only grateful for the rain, but also because we now know who God is. During the waiting time, our focus shifts from the challenge to God.

3) Drought is an opportunity to remove blockages in our lives: Is there something that blocks the Holy Spirit from flowing freely in your life? Did you have a fight with a neighbour or colleague, and you are the one choosing not to forgive? What is the state of your marriage? Do you act with integrity in every situation? In Psalm 139:23-24 the psalmist writes: “Search me, O God, and know my heart … Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Also, in Psalm 24:3-4 we read: “Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure …”

When we seek God’s presence in seasons of drought, we can know that the promise in 2 Chronicles 7:13-15 still remains: “At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls … Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.”

What are the areas of drought in your life today? Let us remind ourselves that God is still in control of our lives. Let us praise Him as we seize the opportunity to discover His character in a new way. And let us deliberately remove the blockages in our lives so that God, through His Holy Spirit, can work in and through our lives. If we do this, I can guarantee you that you can take out the umbrellas, for the rain might be a lot closer than you think. God bless.

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