This morning I have ventured back to Hosea - chapter 5 today. Lord Jesus, i remember the time in college when i was searching You with all my heart, but could just not find You, as far as that deep relationship and closeness i had felt before. It was a very strange time because i was seeking and wanted desperately to know Your will. I had dated a guy the year before and almost made the mistake of marrying him. That would have been the worst - for both of us. So i didn't want to make the same mistake and wanted to hear from You. You seemed so distant.
Hosea 5:6 "When they go with their flocks and herds to seek the Lord, they will not find him; He has withdraw himself from them."
We see here that due to great sin, God has withdrawn Himself from these people, His chosen people. The reason is obvious here - rebellious heart. The time i was talking about before i don't think was so much removal because of vast amount of sin, but rather His way of drawing me closer in. Taking a bit of the closeness away so that i strive to go deeper with Him to regain that closeness, but actually develop a greater need for Him. The point i believe i see here is that God will do what He needs to do to bring us back to Him or take us deeper. I do understand when He withdraws himself it is not in a "lose our salvation" kind of way. That is secure and no one can ever pluck me out of the hand of God. But God will remove that closeness in time of rebellion just because of the simple fact that He will not dwell closely with such deliberate sin and contemptuousness. The Spirit within us never leaves, but certainly is not going to be as powerful in our lives because of all the sin.
But He will also remove Himself - the closeness - to draw us closer. In college i did everything possible to feel Him again. No my relationship with the Lord is not suppose to be about a feeling, but at that time that is all i knew. I was only 1 year or less removed from that memory of youth group highs. I wanted Him close again! He showed up in a huge way and i have since discovered other reasons for His distance at that time.
Lord, thank you for the way you have moved in my life over the years. Thank you for the times i have not felt You so close. Thank you! It has increased my longing to know You more. There are times even today that i want my quiet time to feel closer than it does on certain days. But as i have gotten older and hopefully a bit more mature I understand You are drawing me in on a daily basis. I am to seek with all my heart whether i feel or not. I am to pursue You with a heart of reckless abandonment. I will, but please show me what that looks like.