Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. – Psalm 51:11
I go through spells of not hearing from God. Sometimes I go immediately to war and wrestle with Him as Jacob did. I just will not let Him go until He blesses me. Other times, I just go mind numb, at least that’s what I call it. Days, sometimes weeks go by and it’s like there is a wall between Him and me. It is a wall that only works one way. I know He hears me . . . I just can’t, or maybe I just won’t, hear Him.
During these times I find myself doing things out of the ordinary. I have rotten attitudes towards certain people. I think things and sometimes even say things I immediately regret. I flip through TV channels and watch things I just do not watch. When these things are happening in my life, I find that time seems to zip right on by and I’ve not really had joy and peace in my heart.
I then start to ponder which is the real me. Is it the one who communes with God regularly and tries with every fiber of his being to obey Him? Or, is it the one who can turn to useless things so quickly when the presence of God seems far away?
Every time this happens, my mind relives a conversation I had with Him about 20 years ago. In fact, I just woke up from a dream where I lived it once more. I knew back then He was calling me to a devotional lifestyle. After 5 years of calling myself a saved Christian, He wanted me to study His Word; drop friends who cared nothing about Him or His ways, and begin to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit He had placed inside my heart. For whatever reason, I repeatedly refused. I had counted the cost and just didn’t think I could pay. “Adam,” He said, “If you do not obey my call, you will hear my voice no more.”
I didn’t know it then, but I was at the greatest crossroads of my entire life. For days, I thought about what it would really be like to not have God whispering and pointing me in the right direction, regardless of the fact that, up until then, I had pretty much done the complete opposite of what He said. I decided that I wanted Him above anything and everything else this world offered. I told Him He could have my life and I would live in devotion to Him.
It was my first prayer from the Bible that I didn’t even know existed at the time:
“Please God, take not your Holy Spirit from me.”
I know now which one is the real me. It is the one who goes mind numb and begins that slow drift of behaving just like the world. The only reason there is any good in me is because God placed His Holy Spirit in me and has not taken it from me. If He never let me go through these spells, I know I would become prideful and arrogant, which is every bit as bad as being sinful and disobedient.
When is the last time you spoke to Him, felt Him, or heard His unmistakable voice?
If it has been a while, this prayer has sure been a help to me . . .
“Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.”