God Are You There? [first answered April 2011]
My name is Carol. I read your book Lessons in the Dark. I have been going through a time of feeling distant from God. The more I try to feel Him, the harder it seems. It's been 8 years.
Everyone says to walk by faith. I agree. I just know that we should sense Him and know He is there. I wonder what I have done, and I have repented of everything. I wonder about that verse in Hebrews 6:4-6. Please let me have your comments on that verse and how to trust Him more.
Well, sister, you sound like you are in quite a state of confusion. I know how hard that can be, especially when it lasts so long. Let me, with sisterly love and honesty, offer a perspective. You mentioned we should "sense Him and know He is there." I am not certain the exact concept of "sensing" His presence is in Scripture. I could certainly be wrong, but I am not aware of it. We do not "sense" Him to know He is there. We simply accept He is there because Scripture tells us He is. Jesus told us that He would never leave us or forsake us. Believe me, being blind, I cannot count on "sensing" someone is there when I am visiting with them. If they are exceptionally still or quiet during our visit, I just have to count on "knowing" and trusting. Our senses are not ultimate confirmation of truth. As believers, when it comes to God's presence, faith is knowledge.
The best evidence of God's presence in our lives through His Son, Jesus, is in our unexplainable peace and in the fruit we bear--such as love, meekness, etc. (Galatians 5:22) We all have seasons where we are less aware of the Holy Spirit in our lives due to our own apathy, over-analysis, sin or distraction. That's why we don't measure the truthfulness of God's presence by our senses or the way we feel. He promised He would never leave us or forsake us. Never.
Because you mentioned the scripture in Hebrews 6 which refers to people once involved in the Christian faith falling away, I wonder if you are questioning your own salvation. That is something you can determine through prayer and wise counsel. But, I do know there can be times of barrenness, confusion and seeking that occur, and they are often evidence of God's presence in our lives, rather than His absence.
I often read Matthew Henry for insight into scriptures so I copied a portion where he explains the passage you questioned. Perhaps his insight can grant you some clarity.
Carol, I really like his last point. Perhaps you've stumbled and walked through a spell of darkness, but that's not the same as falling from His presence. I want truth to be your guide. God is faithful. May He strengthen you to trust Him more than feelings and may He graciously grant you clarity.
Bless you sister,
And now the beans are officially spilled.