By now you have noticed I am enthralled with how nature speaks to us of biblical principals, illustrating how God works. Last week we watched a channel known for its nature shows and the topic was the Sahara. I found it a fascinating topic. But, what really got my interest was what happened to change the Sahara from a lush, exotic area to a barren desert.
It seems at some point in time, there was a change in the tilt of the earth. When this happened, the area we now know as a fiercely barren desert, hostile to most life forms changed rapidly from lush to dry. What caused this? The tilt meant the area of the Sahara was further away from the sun. The change was enough to prevent the heat which previously caused the rain cycle the Sahara was accustomed to. The absence of the heat, followed by the absence of the rain cycle, caused the area which depended on this cycle to be transformed, quite rapidly from more of a tropical environment, to an unrelenting, barren desert environment.
A few months back I mentioned how the physical sun is thought to be a picture of Jesus, and the physical moon is a picture of The Church. Reason being that The Church has no light of itself, (nor does the moon) and it can only reflect the light given off by The Son...pretty cool! Naturally, coming from this perspective I couldn't help but be alerted when my ears heard that a new distance from the physical sun, is what transformed the Sahara from lush to barren.
The Sahara is the largest hot desert on the earth to date, growing every year. Its in the shape its in, because it is not close enough to the sun to generate the heat necessary for the rain cycle to sustain the sort of life it once had. It is what it is. But, it doesn't have to be like this for us.
We would all agree that there are times in our life that God seems far away. Also that there are times that try, try, try our faith. But, we are promised He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us. Everything I have studied in the scripture, and what I have experienced in my admittedly short time with the Lord (15 plus years), says any distance comes from 1) ourselves, and 2) our perception. While there are numerous biblical examples, Jesus is our perfect one. The only time He was bereft was on the cross at Calvary. He desires fellowship with us. While He will change the manner in which He communicates with us from time to time, He will not fail to communicate with us. We may misunderstand Him. But, He is always faithful to guide us, and be available to commune with us. Any barriers are there by our own hand. However, He will even help us to remove the barriers, as we can do NOTHING without Him. Since He has assured us that "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.", and further that "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing", I believe I can take Him at his Word! :)
Religious speak says that there are times we don't hear from God, "when God is silent". I have heard this more than a few times in my life. I can remember being a little scared of the thought of when that time would come. However, over the last few years I have come to know Him in a way that says you just can't believe everything you hear! That is not WHO our God is! And I am so grateful! If I am to abide in Him and Him in me, if rivers of living water are to be able to flow from my belly, If I am to seek Him early and remember Him in the night, if I am to pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances, if I can ask for wisdom and know that He gives it liberally (If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5) all these scriptural truths paint a picture of a God who is near, who is within, who desires to keep me from a dry life. But Who also knows, that in my humanity, I will be dry at times, I will be foolish at times (OH, ok, many times!), I will cease to pray at times, I wil certainly not always give thanks in all circumstances (as I would like), and He has a grace sufficient for me even then. He will meet me, as soon as I call to Him. I need only listen. Listen for that still, small voice, for that inner knowing of the spirit, for that desire to get on my knees, and on my face and just say, "I'm sorry, I've done it again, or I just don't know what to do, I don't know where to go from here, please help me, send from heaven and save me, Father." , then get up and take baby steps if necessary out fo the valley and up the mountian. Psalm 119:151 says He IS near!
I would like to add that (in my life anyway), the times I have struggled to "hear" from God the most, I discovered that what I was really struggling with was my desire to have my flesh pleased. In other words, there was an answer, it just was a hard answer and one that required growth on my part, (more than I was in the mood for!). I am somewhat of a slow learner at times. And this particular realization came with rueful recognition of the fact that what I had perceived as my lack of ability to receive the wisdom of God for a situation, was actually my failure to recognize that what I thought was unacceptable, was pretty much what was going to happen, and it was for my good. Guess, what? I'm still here! Maybe that's just me, but, I share it in hopes that I am not alone in this phenomona, and that it will help someone else who is struggling at times!
I urge you to not believe in a silent God. Test the scriptures for yourself. I urge you to move closer still to the Son, so His warmth can bring the rain! We need the rain!
"And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and said to him: I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven so no rain falls, or if I command locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, THEN will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer offered in this place. For I have chosen and sanctified (set apart for holy use) this house, that My Name may be here forever, and My eyes and My heart will be here perpetually." (we are now this temple - we have this promise)