The question, “Where are you, God?” seemed to be a theme in my life recently. I couldn’t understand why my time spent in His Word was dry and empty. I was confused and angry about the inconvenience of life circumstances were at the time.
Here again, pride consumed my life, but I was too stubborn to admit it.
I mean, seriously? Me, God? Prideful? That’s ridiculous.
I hope you are laughing at this point because if you knew me well enough it wouldn’t take you long to know that my deepest and darkest spiritual dysfunction is pride.
However, God has revealed to me that white-knuckling pride in regards to my sin is the most agonizing way to live. Over and over the Scriptures read of genuine freedom found in confession. Th overfamiliarity of such truth blinded me to the misery one endures when harboring sin and keeping up appearances become more important than biblical repentance.
Psalm 32:3-4 says:
“ For when I kept silent my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of the summer.”
So, in complete vulnerability I want to confess to you, friends, of the mistakes I have made and the pain that has come alongside of resisting repentance.
This past semester I have been spiritually dead. There was no desire to seek God on my own, but I had no problem acting as if I did. I tried to paint myself up, but if we’re completely honest, there is no amount of pretty in the world that could mask the rank smell of trash in a garbage dump.
I knew some people could see right through my BS, but that didn’t not matter to me. I wanted my way and in my timing. So, I resisted God. I suppressed every conviction and isolated myself from those who truly care about me.
At the time, God was telling to me to move on from a relationship that I desperately wanted to work out. “Go,” a command typically coupled with a promise, but I was unwilling to obey. My actions became increasingly impetuous and emotional. They were laced with an underlying message of doubt in God’s goodness and fear that He wouldn’t provide.
What scared me about the command to “go” was the lack of understanding where God was calling me to. All I knew and all I focused on was what I was leaving behind.
When crap started to hit the fan in my family’s life, I desperately turned back to God…
Lord, where are You?
The answer that became abundantly clear through a few mornings in His presence was that GOD NEVER LEFT. It was I who turned away. In coming face-to-face with the coldness of this truth, I prayed this aloud to God:
“God, if my vision is cramped, expand it. Clearly show me You bigger picture. I know nothing is too hard for you.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me share this bigger picture:
Firstly, call God to mind.
Remember and meditate on the character of God — His steadfast love that never ceases, His endless mercies that are new every morning, and His overwhelming great faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23 says:
“But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”
Even in your darkest moments, these three gracious gifts are still available for us FREE of charge through Christ’s costly death on the Cross.
Secondly, openly confess when you have done wrongly.
We are the league of the guilty. No one is exempt from sinning except Jesus Himself. When you try to keep up the appearance of perfection, not only will you grow extremely weary, but you will also unknowingly convince everyone around you that you are excluded from this league of the guilty and rob everyone, including yourself, the grace that we all desperately need. We must honestly evaluate our lives and lift up our hearts and hands to God in full surrender. (Lamentations 3:40-41) Then and only then may we be forgiven of our mess-ups and finally experience the crazy amazing love, mercy, and faithfulness of God.
Thirdly, live communally.
Surround yourself with a deep, true, community because the threat of solo spirituality is much more grave than you might imagine. Attempting to follow Jesus outside of biblical community hinders a life of faith and resists spiritual depth. We must remember that Christ gave us community to celebrate the wins with and help shoulder the losses. Friends are twice the joy and half the pain.
Lastly, pray specifically and trust in Him.
The little we believe what God can do does not make Him any less able, but it does make us woefully incompetent. Seek God and ask for Him to do the impossible in your life. Then, believe He will.
“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Please don’t make the same mistake as I have by shutting God’s Word empty handed because you lost patience in waiting on the Lord. Stand firm as Moses did when he said to the Lord, “If your presence will not go with me [God], do not bring us up from here.” (Exodus 33:13)
The Lord had told Moses to lead the Israelites into the promised land, but the catch was that He would not go with them. Moses could not grasp a good life without the Lord’s presence and I pray that becomes true for you and I. I pray that we can stand and honestly say that we would rather be in the throes and thistles of life, never tasting the milk and honey of a promised land, if that’s what it takes to know God.
I pray for courage to ask God for every blessing we can have and still have Him or have nothing at all besides God BECAUSE, I know that NO earthly promise could ever replace God’s fully satisfying presence.
Moses believed this to be true and immediately found favor in the Lord to not only be granted what he asked of God, but also to see His glory pass behind him!
Even if our lives never end up exactly the way we wanted them to, PRAISE THE LORD!!
If we seek God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, our timeline on this earth will not be wasted.
So, seek the Lord…
grab a dream…
and confess when you mess up…
Life will be much more joyful for you.
“Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!
Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven”
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
“No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why faith was ‘counted to him as righteousness.’ But the words ‘it was counted to him’ were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”