All Other Ground is Sinking Sand

20 Oct

The spiritual valley is undeniably one of the most torturous places to be. When we allow the lies of the world to penetrate our minds and infect our hearts, the cancer of unbelief runs rampant in our lives. We’ve all been there at some point in our walk with the Lord. We’ve all spent nights lying awake in our beds, desperate to feel His presence, yet feeling nothing but the cold sheets around us. We’ve all read the Word and waited in expectation for His revelation, and heard nothing but our own thoughts swirling around inside our heads. We’ve all prayed prayers to “the wall,” so to speak. It can be one of the most frustrating experiences of our lives. I’ve been there, and if you’re there, my heart and my prayers go out to you. But it doesn’t have to be this way…

So how do we climb out of this spiritual quicksand?

Well, when dealing with natural quicksand, experts agree that following these simple steps can help save your life.

1. Remain calm.

2. Shed excess weight (i.e. remove your backpack or jacket).

3. Be still.

4. Swim with slow, deliberate motions toward the last known bit of solid ground.

These same steps, oddly enough, translate perfectly to breaking free from the quicksand of doubt.

1. Remain calm. Fear, anxiety, and stress are not of the Lord. They are personal attacks from the enemy attempting to further ensnare you. Don’t believe Satan’s lies! Just because you are struggling spiritually does not make you: unsaved, a horrible sinner, a failure, unworthy of God’s love, exiled from your community, judged by the church, etc. It simply means you are struggling. (Check out Genesis 32:22-32 to read about Jacob’s very own struggle with God.)

2. Shed excess weight. What is weighing you down? Carrying things like guilt, hidden sin, addiction, unforgiveness, bitterness, old wounds, etc. certainly makes it difficult to climb out of the pit. As it says in Hebrews 12:1, let us “throw off everything that hinders us” so that we can “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Bring these heavy burdens before the Lord, surrender your illusion of control, and allow Him to lighten your load.

3. Be still. In Psalm 46:10 it says, “Be still, and know that I am God!” The Lord is calling us to a place of total surrender and complete trust in Him. He is asking us to release our white-knuckled grip on our finances, our success, our relationships, and our very lives, and just be still. He is begging us to stop striving and start resting in His awesome power. This stillness of spirit is an extension of the childlike faith our God desires to see in His sons and daughters. As young children rely solely on their parents to meet their every need, so we should rely solely on the Lord.

4. Swim with slow, deliberate motions toward the last known bit of solid ground. When was the last time you felt the presence of the Lord? Was it during a powerful quiet time spent studying His word? Was it during a one on one conversation with someone full of the Holy Spirit? Was it in a moment of worship at a church service? Grab onto these experiences – they will anchor your faith. And whatever it may be for you, find your way back (a la Hansel and Gretel) to the last place your spirit felt right at home. Dig deep into the eternal truth of the Lord through reading His Word. Get connected with strong believers who can lift you up and encourage you. Find a church home where there is a community of people passionately pursuing the things of God. Write a journal. Pray. Fast. I assure you, that when you move towards God, He runs towards you.

Lastly, I urge you to put your trust in truth, not in fleeting and fickle emotions. Though we feel the things we feel with such zeal and passion that they often seem to be defining of reality, they are felt through a grid we have personally constructed based on the sum total of our life experiences. We, as humans, can not understand the concept of eternity and our perceptions of life and God and love and truth and time are all skewed. When you don’t “feel” God, remind yourself that He is far more than a feeling. He is truth.

In Christ alone my hope is found.
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This Cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace;
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease;
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied.
For every sin on Him was laid,
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay.
Light of the world by darkness slain.
Then bursting forth in glorious Day,
Up from the grave He rose again.
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me.
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand.
‘Til He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

-“In Christ Alone”

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4 Responses to “All Other Ground is Sinking Sand”

  1. Jesse Renteria October 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    I’m going through a tough spiritual tiff right now and your blog is full of good advice. Thanks!

  2. La Vonne Earl October 20, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    Great advice! We can surely trust that our loving God will reveal his presence after we have genuinely pursued him. God is so good.

  3. Slamdunk October 21, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    Excellent message and direction. Being still and listening to Him is certainly easier said than done.

  4. Lao Tzu October 22, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    Another great write, Erika. I’ve been trying to keep up with your posts. You are doing great things on this Earth in your travels. I am so impressed by your heart and mind. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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