Who Moved?

Who Moved?

There are often seasons in life where we feel ourselves grow distant from God. I say we grow distant because God is always near, and to the Christian, He is indwelt. The awesomeness of that alone, that the Spirit of the Living God has made our very bodies His temple, is worth many long walks and contemplative moments beside a pond somewhere, but that is not what I wish to discuss at this moment. Why do we feel distant? Surely you’ve experienced it before. The passion and fervor with which you walked the straight and narrow slowly, imperceptibly, transformed into something mundane and or perhaps even hopeless. Inevitably you wake up one day pray, "Where are you, God? Why do you feel so far from me?"

Its obviously our fault. I say this with all the humility and care I can muster, being (like you) the chief of sinners. The causes can be manifold. Maybe God has blessed you with a temperate season of life. There are no great crises on the horizon; no urgent needs that must be miraculously met, and so you begin to lose what may have been your primary impetus for prayer. You have fallen for the old lie that you are in control of the day-to-day and only need to bother the Father (as if we could bother Him) when we have only reached the end of ourselves.

Maybe You have found yourself in the opposite situation. The night has drawn dark and foreboding about you. At every end you see only despair. Deteriorating health, overwhelming financial circumstances, relational strife; all things that can shake your faith and cause you to question whether “The God Who Sees” actually sees (or cares about) you. In anger, and ultimately pride (it’s almost always pride), you turn your face from the Lover of your soul.

Have you given in to your sin? Are you keeping up appearances for everyone else’s benefit until the time comes when no accountable eyes are upon you, and you can go and cavort with that hideous monstrosity that we give the cutesy epithet "pet sin." If we are running to such things for comfort, then it is obvious that we are not running to God. The sinister thing about this is that the enemy will then try and use the guilt and shame of sin to keep us from drawing near to Jesus. We feel ourselves too filthy, too rotten, too loathsome to bear the title of saint, set apart and beloved by the God who is in fact Holy, Holy, Holy.

No matter the cause, the solution is always the same. Do you still pray? Talking to God should go beyond an endless list of requests—although He wants to hear those, see 1 Peter 5:7. Thank Him! Joke with him! Share with Him! Make time to listen to Him. Have you actually cracked open that Bible on a weekday (maybe more than once)? Have you placed yourself in fellowship with other Christians? Are you willing to submit to the guidance of church leadership? Even more so, are you willing to seek and submit to the Father’s will? Perhaps one reason God seems silent is because he’s already given an answer or command and you don’t like it. Repent! That word in Hebrew is Teshuvah—"To turn around and go in the opposite direction." You’ll find that when you do you’ll run smack into the Father’s arms.

God is the God who leaves the ninety nine for the one, Matthew 18:10-14. He is the God who loves the broken and contrite heart, Psalm 51:17. The God who knows and understands our weakness, Hebrews 4:15. He sees, He hears, He provides, and He allows all things that happen turn to our ultimate benefit and his ultimate glory. Embrace the Son, draw nearer, nearer to his precious side.

Work cited: The Lexham Bible Dictionary; J. D. Barry and L. Wentz, editors; Lexham Press, 2012.
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