“Drawing Deeper” is a series I have been writing which candidly details the progression, triumphs, and (very hard) lessons I have been learning as I draw deeper into a more personal, more intimate relationship-based walk with God. It is meant to provide inspiration, encouragement, and accountability to both myself and to whoever finds these helpful. Below is the ninth entry in the series. God bless you, and thank you for reading!
There are certain people in my life who I love just being around. That is, I am content and comforted just by knowing that they are there. For example, when I’m online and I see my friend Nicole, a wonderful friend who is changing lives up in Canada, immediately my spirit is uplifted and I feel happier, even if we don’t talk at all. Simply seeing her name online is enough for me.
Now, ofcourse, here is where the focus shifts and the above example is applied to a relationship with God. So here it goes:
We have to treat God the same way.
Biblically and theologically we know that God is there. He is present and forever among us, neither leaving nor forsaken his children (Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5). That needs to be enough for us. That should be enough for us.
But sometimes… it just isn’t. Isn’t it?
I’ve felt God so far away before, and it really, or lack of better words, sucked. I felt so lost. So lonely. And while intellectually I knew he was supposed to still be there, to me he wasn’t. I read those passages, but I didn’t believe it. So what happened? Why don’t I feel like God is near? Why can’t I see him online?
It’s because I have made a subtle agreement in my heart that he is not there.
In these moments of despair and desperation, it is crucial that we don’t make agreements with the lies of the enemy. And as I mentioned before, he does not fight fair. He attacks us when we are vulnerable. He is dirty like that, and we have to deal with it. So when I endured that heart-wrenching breakup back in the Spring of 2009, I unwittingly, in my despair and state of pity, came to a conclusion in my heart that I am all alone in my suffering, and that God too has left me.
I made an agreement with the enemy. That became his stronghold that prevented my return to and desire for intimacy with God.
So how do I break those agreements? You break them with the word of God. You use the Bible.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
What I needed to do was hold steadfast to what God says in his word. So I said: God, you said that you won’t leave me or forsake me. That what you said! I choose to believe these words now, despite what I am feeling right now. Please God, draw near to me. I need you. Stay with me.
Stay with me.
That’s the wonder of God. You don’t have to wait for him to sign onto facebook. You can just ask him to come. You can just talk to him, and be comforted in the fact that he is listening and recording all your prayers. You can just ask God to stay with you. And he will. He wants to. And he will never leave.
Try it for yourself. When you are about to go into something you know will be difficult, ask him to stay with you.
For me, I am learning to ask God to stay with me in the midst of tough situations. Currently I am dealing with finding a new place to stay for the year, and nothing is currently working out. On top of that, I am dealing with a hectic last week of summerschool. Let me tell you, I have been feeling loads of stress, and I have already broke down in tears and anger on multiple occasions. But thanks to what I have learned through Walking With God and my experiences last year, I prevented myself from making subtle agreements with hopelessness and the desire to give up. I felt the pressure to believe that nothing it going to work out. But I refused and resisted those lies, instead clinging onto this passage from Philippians:
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 (HCSB)
So what did I do? I prayed. I called my brothers and sisters and asked them to pray. I asked God to be with me, to stay with me through this.
God, I need you right now. I refuse to believe the lies of the enemy, and I invite you now to be with me in this. Please forgive me for not including you from the very beginning, but now, at this very moment, I ask you to stay with me, God. Speak to me on this issue. Thank you for my family and my brothers and sisters in Christ who are interceding for me and my roommates at this time. Bless them as well. I lift up my housing situation to you, and I lift up my school work to you. Give me strength, guidance, and peace of mind to overcome these obstacles. Let me succeed and excel through your grace and providence alone. Stay with me at all times, and be near to protect me. I bring the fullness of your work into this situation, and I cover it in your blood and your will. I love you Lord, thank you. This I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The result? He allowed his peace to flow through me, and I have ceased worrying about it, resting in God’s providence. I am now able to focus on school and fulfill my role as a student, knowing that God is working behind the scenes on my behalf, aligning divine appointments for me. We have a showing tomorrow, in fact, and right now it looks to be the best house yet that meets all our requirements! Hopefully it goes well. But even if it doesn’t, it’s still okay. God is still here. And that alone is enough for me.
Previous entries in the series:
8: Asking God First, and Letting Him Finish
7: God Will Disrupt Your Schedule
6: Lord of the Little Things
5: Submitting the Imagination
4: No, I Don’t Want To
3: Dealing With Our Love Story
2: What Should I Read?
1: The Choice