Hello there reader of the world wide web, the traveler of the seas of cyber space. Welcome to my blog. The title covers what I want to share today. When God seems far away. I’m not going to go into many of the possibilites but I want to share the one I’m feeling of lately. Perhaps you have been feeling this way and I wanted to share with you the great insight I received the other day in a chapel service at Moody Bible Institute. Our speaker was John Coe, you can look him up later, but for now I want to talk about what he shared.
John Coe presented a two part lecture/sermon on Spiritual Theology: the missing link between theology and practice. This sermon pinpointed where I am in life so well that I thought I would highlight, share, and perhaps encourage you in your current walk of faith. The key aspect that hit me was this: Consolation and Desolation.
Consolation: This is the time period when God seems close. It is the time when you’re hooked on the spiritual bottle living with God feeling so close and giving you those spiritual revelations that are surpassing your spiritual maturity. You feel like God is there and you don’t want to let go. He is pouring into you and you can literally FEEL Him there. During these times we feel like we are on the mountaintop with that spiritual high. But what happens when it drifts off?
Before we move onto the next point let me be clear that it is not covering all aspects of why you come off that spiritual high. We are only covering one, the times when you are still trying to pursue God, but He seems far.
Desolation: The time period that is “to mirror what is in the heart, to show what is going on in the inside” -John Coe. These are the times when God finally pulls that spiritual bottle out of your mouth and you are faced with the reality of your heart. Many times we spend these times in our lives trying to find the spiritual high. We start asking, “God, where are you?” We don’t think about how He is there, we don’t stop and ask, “Ok God, where are you leading? What are you trying to teach me?” Instead we whine like babies wanting the comfort of the bottle, trying desperately to “search” for that high… when what God is doing is taking the time to show us in our lives some of the stuff that needs to be weeded out. Like the mirror, showing us what is truly in our hearts. Because even when God feels distant, He wants us to see the realities of who we are and how He loves us anyways and wants to clean out some areas in our lives. He wants us to realize our dependence and neediness on Him.
The best way to tell if you’re in a time of desolation, where it isn’t anything you did to cause God to “pull away” but it is God working in a different way in your life is: When you are trying, and wondering where God went and attempting to “find” Him. If you aren’t you might be suffering from something else going on in your life.
What I hope you get from this is an insight that maybe you feel like God is distant. Maybe you’re going through a time and you’re crying out to God cause He feels far away. You want that former closeness with Him. You’re longing for those comforting arms to be wrapped around you and to feel nurtured. For what ever reason you cannot seem to find it. Perhaps you’re asking yourself, what did I do? Should I pray more? Read more of the Bible? Do I try working harder at this relationship?
You’re not alone. Many of us go through these times, and will experience them again, and again, and again. But ask yourself this, what is God teaching me now? Are you in this place because God wants you to see your heart more clearly and to acknowledge some issue you haven’t been dealing with? This is a maturing process. You are being refined. Don’t give up. Don’t let go. God is still there, and He hasn’t changed. He just is showing you something different now.