I have lost track of the number of clients who visit me for spiritual direction who are concerned with their sense that they have lost sight of God. We both agree that God cannot lose sight of them.
While some feel they must be sinners of the worst sort, resulting in God withdrawing from them, others wonder if God has, in fact, only ever been a figment of their imagination. Neither is the reality. The Christian life, if taken seriously, is a road of continuing maturing.
Much as a good wine improves with age and passes through a number of processes, so does the disciple. God, the viticulturist, takes pride in crafting each of us into the perfect vintage. However, we are organic matter, and as Paul reminds us in Romans, ‘living sacrifices’ with a natural urge to remove ourselves from the heart of God’s calling upon our lives.
Obeying Jesus’ commands operates at two levels. There are the objective requirements for all of us such as don’t kill, don’t commit adultery, don’t covet another person’s property or good fortune.
There is also a unique call for each one of us, that is revealed in stages and to the extent we draw close to God. Often we have to say ‘Yes’ to God, without knowing how God will sustain us. And in saying ‘Yes’ to something, we are necessarily saying ‘No’ to alternatives.
Obedience may mean periods of apparent silence, which in turn lead to feelings of loneliness, if not abandonment. God remains present throughout, encouraging obedience in the expectation that in our apparent lost-ness we are moving closer towards his purpose in our life. Ultimately, God is always true to his promise; Jesus shows himself clearly to us again.
(Dr Micha Jazz)
With many peaceful blessings