It's Time to Soar!
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Recently, in my quiet time, God reminded me of when Jesus was on the cross and cried out, “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken me?” At that moment, Jesus experienced the anguish of complete separation from God. Because He experienced that on the cross, we never have to. I believe God was showing us that Jesus had to go through that complete separation from His Father as part of fully experiencing the fallen state of man. That is what sin does. It separates us from God; not because God turns His back on us, but because our self-focus obstructs our awareness of His presence. God will never leave us or abandon us. For Jesus, who had lived His entire earthly life in perfect spiritual oneness with God, this must have been agony!
People who have had near death experiences in Hell tell of the complete absence of God. They say, not only is there separation from God, there is no awareness of God at any level; no recollection of His presence, and a complete absence of goodness. There is no hope, only torment, oppressive heat, darkness, abject terror and unquenchable thirst. My mind cannot grasp it, thankfully!
God is much more interested in developing our faith than making us comfortable. In seeking a deeper relationship with God, at times I have almost felt my old self dying, yet I experienced no awareness of the changes God was about to make. It feels like a limbo state and can be uncomfortable. As soon as I get really comfortable where I am, the very nature of my quiet time changes. Everything seems to dry up: my prayer life, scripture reading, worship…it almost feels like I am merely going through the motions. The discomfort will build within you a deeper faith and trust, and will lead you into a greater fullness of His Presence. God wants to deepen our relationship even more than we do. Without fail, just on the other side of that “desert” time, the breakthrough comes. It is like God has to move us away from our old, comfortable way of doing things long enough for us to lose touch with any routine. Only then, will He move us into the new thing He has for us. God is anything BUT routine! He is new every morning. If we decide to coast in our relationship with Him, we are in danger of failing to remain truly plugged-in to the one Source of Life we seek.
Even though He has told me He will never leave me nor abandon me, I have to talk myself through the feeling that I am blindly searching for Him. He is my “person”…the one relationship without Whom I cannot conceive of doing this life. So when I think of Jesus experiencing that complete separation from the Father – for any length of time – I realize, again, the enormity of the price He paid for us.
I write this to encourage you that when you come to your next “dry place” where you can't seem to hear His voice or feel His presence, you are probably just shy of a breakthrough. If you know without a doubt you are in right standing with Him, be faithful and press in to the One Who loves you more than you can imagine. Instead of talking through your quiet time, listen more for His still small voice. Spend time in silent contemplation. Keep praying and studying your Bible, and let go of the need for feelings or affirmations. Sometimes, that is the only way to build the spiritual muscle you will need for the next phase of your journey with Him.
Letting go of the old way of doing things can be scary, but just on the other side of that fear is a higher level of living in the Spirit, walking in continual communion with God, and experiencing a deeper level of intimacy with the One who loves you enough to give His life for you in the most humiliating, excruciatingly painful way. He gave His life so, at the end of your time on this earth, you will never have to experience that total, and very final separation. As He told me recently, there are some places in the spirit you cannot go by just walking step-by-step with Him…those are the places you can only access when you join your spirit with His and SOAR!
Prayer: Father God, I love You so! My goal and deepest desire in this life is to walk closely with You through every day, to remain in constant communication with You, and for Your Holy Spirit to abide within me and find in me a safe and pure vessel in which He can comfortably dwell and radically affect the world around me. Let Your will be done in my life on earth as it is in Heaven. Draw me ever closer to Your immaculate heart. I want to soar with You to the high places of Your love. Thank You for all You have done for me and help me be a good steward of all You have given me: that which I have received and that which is yet to come. I pray this in the precious and mighty Name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, amen.
“The person who wants to save his life must lose it, and she who loses her life for Me will find it.” Matthew 16:25
“Let me hear of Your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting You. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to You.” Psalm 143:8
“About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud [agonized] voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’” Matthew 27:46
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 5:7‑10
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”