Garland Of Grace – 05.06.18

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When God Leaves Us Alone…

“Even in the matter of the envoys of the rulers of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that had happened in the land, God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.” – 2 Chronicles 32:31

Every believer has had those spiritual mountain top experiences and times in their life when they feel so close to God.  In those special seasons of life, the fellowship with the Lord is extra sweet and the internal peace felt within that child of God is a feeling of serenity.  But whether we want to admit it or not, that is not how every moment within the Christian life is.  There are times in our spiritual pilgrimage when the closeness of God is not felt like before.  It might be because we are out of fellowship with God or it possibly might mean that unconfessed sin is serving as a barrier to our intimacy with the Lord (Hosea 5:6).  But that is not always the case either.  Believe it or not, there are times in a Christian’s journey when they are right with the Lord, but they still feel like He is far away.  How can this be?

Well, sometimes the Lord will draw back from a person’s life for a season, and it is always for a reason.  During that period of time, the believer won’t feel the closeness of God as he or she had in times past. The purpose behind this is always to cause that Christian to grow deeper in their longing for God.  And it is in those moments that one can find themselves asking… “God, are you there?”  Maybe you can relate to that.  If so, it would be good for you to remember that God’s ways are certainly not your ways, and that God’s purposes are not your purposes.  Admittedly, it is hard for some to believe that God would do such a thing.  But we can be rest assured that if God chooses to do this in the life of one of His children, it is done so to benefit that person in the long run.

This spiritual truth was evident in King Hezekiah’s life.  We all know that King Hezekiah had had a very close and intimate relationship with the Lord most of his life and during his reign as king.  But consider our verse above.  At a very crucial time in his life, the Bible tells us that the Lord left him alone.  I am truly convinced that God’s reason for doing this was twofold.  First, God did this to test Hezekiah’s character.  Notice our text above says, “God left him alone only to test him.”  What was the reason? So “that He might know all that was in his heart.”  Secondly, I believe that this happened in Hezekiah’s life to also reveal his dependency upon God.  The only way one can properly develop spiritually is to truly know, understand, and experience our personal need and dependency on God.  When God left him alone, Hezekiah was reminded of his total and utter dependency upon the living God.

We must be cautious in our interpretation of what is meant when the text says “God left him alone.”  It does not mean King Hezekiah’s relationship had somehow been permanently severed. Nor does it mean that God had willingly forfeited His omnipresence. Both of these interpretations would be theological perversion. Rather, the passage must be understood in the following way;  one can be in the presence of another and still be “left alone.” The Lord, though continually present in the king’s life, dialed back His permeating presence. Thus, God left Hezekiah alone. God in His providential care permitted a season of loneliness to blow through Hezekiah’s life to test his character and cause him to depend on God all the more.

Can you relate to what happened spiritually to King Hezekiah?  Can you flip through the pages of your life story and remember times when you were right with the Lord, but yet you did not feel the powerful presence of God as you had in prior times?  If so, it might just be that God was testing you, and teaching you to lean and depend on Him even more.

 – Pastor Eric

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