GOING DEEPER WITH GOD, A BECOMING MYSTERY
PREMISE: GOD made us for RELATIONSHIP.
Name biblical characters who display this type of love, a passion for God?
What is missing?
What about that empty, going through the motions, feeling of deadness? What about our own troubling issues? Something is going on, we know, when there is a complacency or a conflicted separation in our person in regards to spiritual matters. We know there are reasons for this, of course, for that which is part of being human, with its struggles against the world, the flesh and the devil, and its spiritual warfare, in an on-going battle against those things that resist a closeness to God. But, that’s not what is meant in this paragraph. Rather, what is missing in this picture is a lack of engagement with God in the center of self, in what some old writings call The Ministry of the Interior. That deep well within a person that needs to be filled with God. The Spirit is there, but the well in the center of the heart is empty or getting close to dry. It cannot give what it does not have at its disposal. The Spirit Life is being lived without its power, which means, it is being lived in its flesh, out of human effort. This is the nitty-gritty where-it's-at for many-a-Christian, and all of us at times.
A few months ago I was talking with a Christian woman who has lived a faithful, faith-filled life for all of her years. Her family has been on-hold in several areas as they wait for God to answer their prayers. They are very dedicated servants in the Church and also with their fellow-man. In the conversation a statement was made that has a hidden meaning. She said to me what many of us feel. I mention it in this writing because it spoke to me of something that holds many from knowing and participating in the fullness of joy in God. "I want to give it all to God, I want to draw closer to him, but I'm not sure what will happen if I do." I could identify. I still identify. It is human to struggle in this area. The emotion is fear. When you take it further, it is also a distrust in God's goodness or it can be a lack of faith to believe in his goodness. And if you take it further still, it also reveals a less-than-desired-some-what-cautious love for God. Love and trust live together in tight fellowship. Don't misunderstand, it is true that love for God is already in place in the well-lived, obedient, Christian walk. The problem is that it is not enough to carry the person into a deeper level of spiritual life, the acquisition and communion found in an intimate relationship with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
Once a person steps through the door of no-return and leaves self and its need for security behind, God becomes the sweetest friend a person can have in this mortal (and immortal) life. He will become so dear that the thought of Him brings tears to the eyes. That is when a person falls in love with God and life unfolds in a newness of being. It is when Question 1 can be answered in confidence to the affirmative. It is when a person fully loves God and they will act "in love" for God in regards to the people and opportunities God will put in their path.
Bless you if you seek God in this way. It is well-worth the journey.
This "Going Deeper" series was written by Norma Brumbaugh for an adult Sunday School class.