Thursday, August 6, 2015

Stepping Away

He has withdrawn from them” Hosea 5:6. “Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, and He will heal us; He has wounded us, and He will bind up our wounds” Hosea 6:1.
So much can be lost in translation when studying the Word. We are told in Bible studies, church, and by spiritual leaders that God will never leave us and will always be with us. So when I read something that seems to contradict that promise I want to find out the true translation. I trust His word and I am confident in His character so I was blessed to discover what was meant by withdrawal. While God will never leave us, there are seasons when He must withdraw the fullness of His presence. He has the ability to limit the degree of presence we feel in Him. I remember in year 6 of my daughter’s 8 year season of darkness I pulled back from our fellowship. It was a way of giving her over to herself, and removing myself from time with her. She was still 100% my daughter and me withdrawing from her did not affect my love for her. That is my best analogy with God withdrawing from us.
There are seasons in all of our lives when God must get our attention and limit His presence. He will lessen the fellowship we experience with Him in an effort to place an intimate pursuit of Him in our hearts. No one goes looking for anything until they realize they have lost or misplaced it. Many times when God has sent the same message multiple ways the only thing left is His temporary withdrawal. ‘God will pull back and leave us to ourselves. Usually we don’t even notice at first, but when things don’t go our way, we start to notice God has stepped away. Hosea promised Israel that they would experience the emptiness of God’s absence if they didn’t repent and seek Him with their whole hearts.’ Hosea – Unfailing Love Changes Everything, p. 140.
God states in His word that He sends people to warn others and speak on His behalf. I know that He operates the same way in my life today. There have been times when others have told me things that I knew were coming from the Lord. “‘For they have not listened to my words,’ declares the LORD, ‘words that I sent to them again and again by my servants’” Jeremiah 29:19. We were never meant to live life by our own wisdom, but operate out of God’s wisdom. When we are making our own decisions apart from His step by step guidance we run the risk of lessening His presence. It takes great patience and deep spiritual maturity to trust Him, wait upon Him and obey when He says to act.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11...a beautiful promise from a beautiful God.

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