I wonder whether you have experienced life journey in which you could not feel God’s presence.
If you've ever had God’s sweet presence, you know the pain of not touching God’s presence. I called it as a period of spiritual darkness or dryness. I came into this period for almost one year. I have heard this term, also read the book of Jeanne Guyon, the teachings of chapter five in Song of Solomon of the bible about this period, but I could not fully understand God’s mind in spirit, neither was I sure whether I was really walking in this period, until recently, I came to realize that God wants me to learn the lessons in this period. During this period, I suspect many times where I do not well, whether I did not spend much time in God, whether I have hidden sins, whether I still have wounds to be healed, whether I still do not release from binding, whether the way in which I pray and draw near to God is not correct, etc. I had a long time to learn different methods of prayer, gave up the way which God gave me (The intersection way of God and each person is different, the way which God has given to me is piano worship, I will be into deeper communication with him in the Spirit of God. But during this period it will become increasingly difficult to enter.). I thought other’s way was more anointing, and tried my best to use another method, the end result was nothing. I felt down into self-denial and complaint vicious cycle.
Until one day I gave up all struggles, came back to my original piano worship. Revelation from God was poured out again: "..... My child, you should accept yourself all, accept the current situation, accept which I have given to you. Do not envy others, neither despise yourself. You should repent in words of denying yourself, and accept yourself by faith, because the blood of Jesus has flown for you. You are totally accepted in the Lord, not because of the behavior, not because of talent, but because of Jesus. The value of your identity is precious, I love you, so I called Jesus laid down his life for you, in order to gain you. You have already belonged to me, and you are my property. I accept you everything, including your weakness. You do not need to become strong and to be able to be accepted by me. I like human humbleness. Only when you are weak and humble, you know completely to rely on me, because my power is made perfect in weakness. Only faith pleases me, not the behavior pleases me. Faith makes person righteous. You just came to me, I will personally lead you into my chambers, where all my abundance....... "
God leads me to learn how to accept my own weakness during this spiritual dark period. We often fall into the whirlpool of self-denial, when we are in the spiritual weakness. The reason is that we have an enemy lie within the heart: "I want to be strong in order to be accepted by God." This often happens to the people who have grown up in the context of long-term damage by negative words, or have not been encouraged and driven by behavior in cultural background. This wrong belief drives people to use their own natural strength "effort" to get the anointing power of God, and present good spiritual condition in order get God's acceptance. Do you not know that such effort will make us fall into the soul anxiety, without having rest. Furthermore the result of denying myself will keep God out of my heart. The more anxious I am, the more missing God.
Corinthians 12: 9-10, "because my power is made perfect in weakness. So I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses. insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong. " Firstly you should accept your weak situation. This is a delight. We should understand that we own nothing, but God accept us like this. He just wants us to "confess" that we have nothing, recognize the fact of our own weakness, surrender in front of him, just let his power dwell in us. It doesn’t matter that I am weak. It’s enough that he is strong. His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner. (Psalm 147: 10) He likes humble utensils that depend on him on everything. If without this knowledge, people tend to fall into acts of righteousness, or self-righteous Pharisee's circumstances. The fruit of the legalism and conclusions will be born.
Mrs. Jeanne Guyon had mentioned in the book named “Experience more deeply Jesus Christ” that if our spiritual journey with Jesus enter into a deeper spiritual intersect realm, they must recognize that there is a spiritual withered in front of you. Then God will withdraw His presence, the purpose is that you pursue him, because he was looking for those people who are still loyal to love him, when he hides himself. In the Song of Solomon chapter five also mentioned this period.
After I have experienced the spiritual darkness period, I understood it was good to me even when I was in my weakness and could not touch his presence. It makes me to know my weakness, have nothing, a little my own strength including the power of loving him, the heart of desiring him, not from me, but from God. All is given by God and from God. I have nothing to boast, all is received from him.
God is absolutely sovereign who decides manifest his presence or not. He manifest his presence, I get strength. If not, I am in my weakness. No matter I am in weakness or strength, all is the acts of God. Since all is the acts of God, I just surrender and accept all the circumstances, however, I believe that God's love has never changed, God still loves me, cares for me, I recall how he was gracious to me, and he promised to give me.
God's presence is not earned by natural human efforts, so the Bible says: "In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength." Putting down aside my own soul in the struggles and efforts of natural person becomes an important key. Mrs. Jeanne Guyon in her book said that you should renounce your own, set aside your natural desire, even the desire for God from the natural you. Keep quiet and look up to him with your “heart” (or spirit), emptied yourself, stop the soul of all struggles and efforts to make the soul completely quiet and passive, even in the absence of receiving God’s any presence, still stuck in him, be humble, quiet, wait patiently for your beloved to return. God remembered such a moment, till the period of the journey of not touching God ends.
When we learn how to put aside all our own spiritual needs, and not to feel our spiritual needs and pay attention to them, pay yourself completely in the hands of God, at the mercy of his arrangements and allow God to move or delay his comfort, his love anointing pouring down, keep calm and stable heart obedience, humility wait. Until we change our attitude, we love him not because of his gift, nor his precious presence. In this process, our faith will gradually enter into a new level. This spiritual darkness dry period will make our lives more mature and renewed. Hallelujah!
May this little testimony can help and release you from the circulating anxiety of self-denial and self-requirements. Glory to the Lamb on the throne!
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