In the last posting we dealt with the subject of our difficulty in hearing from God or feeling His presence at times. It would be helpful to review that one since this is a continuation of the subject.
There are times in the life of every believer when we feel that God is not listening or not responding to our cries. Sometimes we can feel that He just doesn’t care. Of course this is not true. He promised never to leave us and He never does. Ever. We have already looked at several reasons for this distance between us. Let’s look at some others.
There is and always will be a battle for intimacy with the Lord. The chief desire of our enemy is to separate us from Him so there are numerous ways he tries to do this. Realizing this is beneficial. But understand that this is a battle we can and must win. “Nothing shall separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:35-39
The most common reason for this feeling of distance is usually a wrong perspective on our part … an inability to perceive His presence. Once when I was in the depths of despair again over this very issue, the Lord provided an answer through a speaker at a conference I was attending. She was a well known evangelist whose ministry I followed and trusted. She began to tell a story about how she had felt so dry and far from God and just could not seem to reach Him. He seemed so far away and not even listening to her. So she took a week off and went to a cottage alone to fast and pray. Drinking nothing but water all week she spent hours a day in Bible reading and prayer. She said that she felt God would answer her because of her striving and count it for faith. Most of her prayer was crying out to God to come, to just show up and speak to her. But at the end of 7 days there was still silence and no apparent sign of His presence. At last she was tired, weak and hungry, laying on the floor crying out in desperation when He stopped her. He called her by name and tenderly said, “What are you doing? Don’t you know that I have been here all the time? Didn’t I tell you that I would Never leave you? Why don’t you get up and come sit with Me on the sofa so I can just love you?”
She said the shock of that experience changed her perspective and she started to weep and thank God that He was with her. She asked Him to make her so aware of His presence. When she said that phrase, something in my heart understood and responded. I began to pray that continually. “I know You are here Lord, but make me so aware of Your presence.” My perspective began to change by just focusing on that truth. He IS with me. He IS here. Now. I’m wasting my time and upsetting myself by crying out to be with someone who is standing by my side when I should be enjoying His company. Eventually it began to be so normal to realize He was there that sometimes when I sat down for tea I’d pour a cup for Him. And then we would both laugh.
I do not mean to imply that it is this way for me all the time. I go through things the same way everyone else does. But I have experienced just enough to understand that this relationship is supposed to be normal. And all I have seen and experienced in God is just a theatrical trailer for what is available. Never stop exploring!
For more on this subject, another important post on the archives of this blog is from March 2012 – Intimacy with the Lord – Satisfied Yet Longing Still.