If you are stuck in a rut spiritually, Psalm 19 provides a blueprint for connecting with God. It provides the three staples every Christian should regularly engage in to stay spiritually awake.
There are many other devotional practices which can and should be done to connect with God, but Psalm 19 gives these specific three which will help us immensely in staying alive and sensitive in our relationship with God, protecting us from spiritual ruts.
Psalm 19 is broken into three sections. Psalm 19:1-6 explain how nature is God’s mouth piece. Psalm 19:7-11 describes how the word of God also speaks but actually instructs the human heart. Lastly, Psalm 19:12-14 is a personal prayer from the heart to God for holiness.
1.Get Out Of a Spiritual Rut By Connecting With God Through Nature (Psalm 19:1-6)
First, Psalm 19 speaks of nature. God made the world like a musician makes a song. A song is expressive. It can communicate love, hate, beauty, rage, and any other emotion the artist seeks to express. Songs say something of the artist that you feel more than you can verbally articulate or mentally comprehend.
Music expresses the emotions of the musician in a way where plain words do not. For a person to sing a sad song or a joyful song helps us feel their emotions much more than if they just told us they were feeling sad or happy. God’s song, his creation, expresses his glory.
Everywhere we go, God’s created earth, full of its amazing beauty and aw, is singing a song every human clearly hears. Mountains say something of God very differently than a wild flower. A lion expresses something of its Creator much different than a house cat. A calm sea compared to a raging sea is singing a very different song. In everything the Artist has made on earth, he is expressing something about himself.
So if we want to feel God, escaping the dryness of a spiritual rut, we must connect with him through his creation.
Nothing stirs the emotion of peace like a calm river at daybreak, the current gently moving by as the morning fog still lingers. Nothing creates the feeling of grandeur and aw like standing at the foot of cliff-face bursting into the skies three thousand granite feet above. Nothing will make you understand loyalty and bring you tears like watching a mother bear defend her cubs from an approaching predator.
God made it all, and all of it says something about him. The earth is full of scenes just waiting to connect our hearts with the heart of God.
2. Overcome a Spiritual Rut By Connecting With God Through His Word (Psalm 19:7-11)
Next Psalm 19 points to the word of God. While nature and the Bible both speak on God’s behalf, Scripture reveals God in a much different way than nature.
Theologically, we refer to nature as God’s “general revelation” while Scripture (along with other miracles by which God speaks, e.g., the Incarnation) is referred to as “special revelation.”
Notice that through Psalm 19:1-6, the psalmist simply states general statement of how “The heaven’s declare the glory of God,” but then in Psalm 19:7-11, the psalmist explains that God’s word not only speaks, it “revives the soul . . . making wise the simple.” Only when God’s truth is revealed in greater detail through his word do our lives truly begin to be affected.
The song of nature is beautiful to every ear, but the word of God reveals the lyrics of the song. While nature plays a melody we all love to listen to, the Scriptures reveal the specific message of the Artist which then can actually transform our lives and give us specific instructions on how to live, freeing us from sinful patterns keeping us in a spiritual rut.
Nature reveals “general revelation” about God where believers and unbelievers can both appreciate the music. But without “special revelation” we will look at nature and miss God, as this is what most of the world does (Romans 1:18-25).
Without the word, the universe’s beauty terminates on itself and man is still oblivious to his Creator. So when it comes to connecting with God, being in nature is not enough. We must interpret the world through God’s word to know what he is really saying. We can’t just “feel” like we know what he is saying. If you want to connect with God and get out of a funk, you must never forfeit God’s word for other means, as God’s word is what keeps all other devotional means Christ centered.
Nonetheless, we must not forget either of these two ways God speaks if we hope to follow Psalm 19’s format of connecting with God, which culminates in a personal plea for holiness.
3. Overcome a Spiritual Rut By Connecting With God Through Prayers From The Heart (Psalm 19:12-14)
It’s as if the psalmist is saying that if you really want to connect with your creator in an intimate way, hear him speak through nature, hear him lead through his word, and then speak back to him through prayer.
Psalm 19:12-14 is the result of Psalm 19:1-11. If you want to pray passionately, if you want a genuine concern for your holiness, if you want to pray from deep within the heart, if you want the opposite of a spiritual rut, knowing you are hearing God and he is hearing you – you must not jump instantly into your pleas. The first 11 verses of Psalm 19 are focusing on hearing God, learning from God, and reflecting on what God has said in his word and nature. Only after the psalmist has done that does his heart overflow with such genuine, passionate prayer.
When you listen to God, then your heart is free to believe God is listening to you. God always hears our prayers, but when our prayers are self-centered and lack the worship, reverence, confession, and intimacy God’s nature and word elicit from our hearts, we don’t feel the reality of the conversation that is happening between us and God.
If we never listen to what God has to say and we are simply talking over him by only making request, a real conversation with God is not happening. If you skip right to pleas without connecting with God personally, you are not praying but whining.
If we never seek to hear his voice but only hear our own during our prayer time, it’s no wonder we feel disconnected from God and stuck in a rut spiritually. Prayer is a conversation. God speaks and listens to us, and he expects us to do the same.
So if you want to get out of a spiritually dull season, try these three staples of any devotional time: enjoying God in nature, enjoying God in his word, and enjoying God in prayer.
God’s melody can be heard in his creation. The specifics lyrics can be understood through his word. And we can join him in worshipful singing through our prayers.
When we connect with God in these three ways through the grace of Jesus, God can lift us out of any spiritual rut.