The Elusive God
As I have been reading through Larry Crabb’s book “Shattered Dreams” I have stopped again and again as if I had somehow just strayed upon holy ground. A deep sigh resonating with God’s Spirit inside me. In his chapter entitled “The Elusive God” I read and re-read the following thoughts quite a few times over.
Relax…breathe deeply, invite the illumination of the Holy Spirit and meditate on what Larry said: (MC Wright)
The Bible is clear. God exists. He exists in heaven. He exists on earth. He exists everywhere. Most important, He exists in us. That’s where He is most personally and satisfyingly discoverable.
The life of the Trinity flows in our being (Colossians 2:9-10). Christ is in us (Colossians 1:27). The Spirit has entered us and taken up permanent residence (1 Corinthians 3:16). The Father and Son have made Their home in everyone who loves Jesus, and They promise to let us know They’re there (John 14:23).
Our search for God is therefore an inward search. Silence and solitude are essential to discovering His presence. We must block out the noise of life and become aware of our interior world if we’re to find God. Beneath every heartache, beneath every moral failure, beneath every shattered dream, a divine Presence is waiting to be discovered.
Why then do so few find Him? Because He is hidden.
Like a city after an earthquake, God’s presence is hidden beneath the rubble of the Fall. Look inside. An honest look will first reveal the rubble of our efforts to make life work without God, of our terror that keeps us from naked vulnerability to anyone, of our construction project that has created a false self that we hope will stay together through life.
This is the rubble of dust and stone that hides the Presence. We live in sheer dread of giving up control and abandoning ourselves to God. Only when we discover a desire for Him that is stronger that our desire for relief from pain will we pay the price necessary to find Him.
If we’re to encounter the divine Presence, we must enter the interior sanctuary of our heart and, like Jesus in the temple, become indignant over what we find. There is no way to God but through the rubble. We must go through, not around, whatever keeps us from Him. The process is what spiritual people call brokenness and repentance.
That does not mean, of course, that we should dwell every minute on what is difficult in our lives. We would get nothing done and be good to no one if we did. More often, we should lighten up, enjoy what’s enjoyable, and seize everyday opportunities to trust God and do good.
But we must let our souls live in a private monastery, in an attitude of contemplation that helps us see that all of life is sacred, where we remain alert to the Spirit’s revelation of ourselves ad God. When life gets tough and God does nothing, the Spirit is telling us that this world is not our home. He is whispering to us about another world and revealing Someone who is faithfully leading us there along the best path. And He is exposing the rubble that must be cleared away.
If we fail to be quiet enough to hear all that the Spirit is saying, we will be in danger of discovering our desire for God and never discovering His desire for us. When that happens, the Christian comes as close as he ever will to Hell. (pgs. 100-101)
Larry is right…the journey to find God, to experience His kingdom reality, to taste His life is found along the inward journey. Solitude, silence, prayer, and meditation are paths that help us begin the great descent towards our heart where Christ dwells by faith.
The broken realities of life thrust us toward a journey to find and begin desiring God…however, the jewel of the journey is found when we begin to believe that God actually desires to know us…
When we believe this…we don’t fret so much when we don’t sense or see His presence…it is a knowing from deep within. It is beyond apologetics, beyond charismatic experiences, beyond divine epiphanies…it is faith alive in us that carries us deeper and deeper down and into God Himself.
We were created for more than earth…when we settle for earth’s best, we miss true beauty.
Dei Gratia, Monty