I felt panic as soon as that door slammed. I realized with true gravity who I had just slapped in the face. I remember straightening up real quick, wiping my tears of self-pity and apologizing. But it was not a quick fix. He let me feel the tension of his silence for a good amount of time. I’m talking about God. Maybe this will be a controversial post...
We wonder about his silence don't we? Not all silence is related to what I will share; but I think a fair portion might be. Lukewarmness is something HE clearly says He will spit out of his mouth (Revelation 3:16).
I confess a season when I acted obnoxiously towards Him. In response, He was pained and pulled away. Have you ever thought about the fact that God could feel this way? Have you ever considered how you approach Him makes a difference? The first and greatest commandment is to love the LORD God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength. Do we as his people pour into Him this way in our prayer time? It’s a convicting question; but one that brings great reward in redeeming a satisfying relationship with God.
God has always desired intimacy with us and has made himself vulnerable in it. His intent is clearly not one sided, but with hopes we’d desire Him too. His plan has always centered on choice. We have always been allowed to choose or reject God. Starting with Adam, God always intended pure fellowship, close in presence and conversational with His creation. Adam and Eve’s decision came quickly and God took his first arrow straight to the heart. You hear it when God calls out to Adam after disobedience, “Where are you?” When God sought out Adam, calling out to him, “Where are you?” the root meaning behind this type of calling infers crying out loudly, most probably with a sense of distress.
Take a minute and think about God’s panic and distress. (Luke 22:43-44 as one example) Do you think that God doesn’t feel distress over abandonment? You hear it when He says to his disciples, “You don’t want to leave too do you?” See John 6:67. He doesn’t need you, though He desperately wants you (John 17:24).
I don’t believe that God didn’t physically know where Adam and Eve were when He called out for Adam. More so, I believe He knew his grief was beginning. Soon he’d be hearing their excuses and blame shifting (Genesis 3). He’d be announcing to Adam and Eve that their now-forever pursuit would be flesh-based with purpose bound to sorrow. Instead of pleasure (Eden), “Eve” would have multiplied sorrow bearing children and longing for a man who’d rule over her. “Adam” would be stressed about work and laboring to provide food. It describes a lot of us men and women today, yes? God forced them out of the pleasure garden as a consequence to their choice. They chose self.
When we think of God being emotional, it seems people most often note God’s emotional reactions as anger. But if you read closely in Old Testament and New, God’s emotional reactions are based upon sorrow and upset over being continually rejected by His people and cast aside in favor of their flesh pursuits. His upset is always justifiable. Many of His emotional reactions are often after intense labors of long-suffering love towards His people, that despite warnings and unmerited grace, He is dismissed by them and His Word trampled underfoot. God eventually responds, often with silence.
This was the “slammed door” I experienced in prayer. Through the Holy Spirit’s reaction inside me, I felt God’s upset one day. I was holding on to a bedpost, being all dramatic and obnoxious, crying out wanting to “return to Egypt”. I knew as soon as I said certain words, He was VERY hurt. The door slammed in my heart. I’ll never forget it. He didn’t leave; but He silenced. The One who had done so much for me, was being disrespected and rejected hearing me cry out for an earthly king. His "pulling away" in response to my wailing was THE turning point in my prayer life about 16 years ago. He was not going to listen to my fits anymore and I got the point.
Now I am not saying God handles everyone the same. He knows our frame and He knew how to deal with my obnoxious behavior towards him. From that point, I took a different route and I grieved over hurting Him. I spent time with Him to know His heart. I set up an altar in my bedroom and for a season, I bought him flowers every week. I got baptized. Though silent, He was there for each step. I felt the beginnings of hope. I felt His love and presence more consistently. My prayer time was no longer filled with fits and cries; I had a reverent fear that respected Him as LORD. I did not hear His voice; but I kept pressing for more. I knew He was healing me. I knew my repentance opened up the slammed door. Truly repentance is a gift. We need to realize this and turn from ourselves towards Him. We need to realize He made himself unbelievably vulnerable to rejection, all because He wants us to want Him; He always has.
Because of Christ, we no longer hear a desperate, anxious, searching cry causing us dread. It’s an inviting call through Christ. We are to now hear a gentle and humble call, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest”. With His own, He is at peace again, walking in the garden. You and I spending time with Him there, we hear His voice and sense His presence. He longs for us to humbly run to Him, not away. Here we find life that is truly life!
Are you signed up for February 19th? The meditation-based prayer session on Psalm 23 is a setting to encourage intimacy with Christ. Come and experience being led in prayer! Come without any pressure. If after you don’t see the benefit or are financially constrained, feel NO obligation to support the event! I just want to obey and serve in this way! COME!
Time in His presence is worth sacrificing all things and all others, those who do will be greatly blessed, and part of a remnant. They will be the Spirit-filled Body that He pours Himself into and through in our time. If your lamps aren’t regularly filled with oil of the Holy Spirit, you’ll probably miss out on all the adventure and blessing. As it was in the beginning, it is still today. He lets us choose.
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!