3 Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the necromancers out of the land. 4 The Philistines assembled and came and encamped at Shunem. And Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. 6 And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets. 7 Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her” (1 Sam 28:3-7).
King Saul feared the army of Philistines, he could no longer hear from the Lord through the prophet Samuel, and the Lord was not answering him in any other way. He had already spent a considerable amount of time and resources pursuing David to kill him even though God had clearly rejected Saul as king and had given the kingship to David. Faced with the silence of God, Saul seeks answers through a medium, something expressly forbidden by God (Lev 19:31; 20:6,27). We don’t know what could have happened to Saul if he had repented and submitted to God years before this point, but we do know that he spent the day before his death trying to hear from God in an ungodly way.
Our sin can be a barrier between ourselves and God. His Word shows us the way of life, but if we continue to walk in a different direction, spiritual dryness is inevitable because it will become more difficult to hear him. Such a resistance can be built up against his Word that we not only fail to hear God, we automatically reject what we do hear. Like the king of Israel in 1 Kings 22, we say we want to hear from him, but only if he tells us what we already want to hear.
6 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 7 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the Lord of whom we may inquire?” 8 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil” (1 Kings 22:6-8).
God may be making you aware of a dark area in your life that needs to be brought into the light. It is important to pray and ask God to reveal your sin to you - in Christian community. God never meant for us to navigate the life of faith on our own, and it is easy for us to be blind to our own sin and the path of reconciliation with him.
Those struggling with spiritual dryness also have a tendency to beat themselves up about their sin. They weigh themselves down with guilt and believe things about themselves that God doesn't believe. They can also believe untrue things about God - that his character is primarily angry, punishing and vengeful. It is important to trust other Christians who can help you discern truth from the enemy's lies.
6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:6-10).
It is important to be involved in a church small group or bible study and be transparent with a few people. If we dig ourselves into a ditch, we won't easily get out if we're using the same tools that got us there in the first place!