Food for Thought
Wade E Taylor
There are times when we may not have an inner sense of "feeling"
His presence, or of "consciously" knowing that He
is with us. During these times, we have no choice apart from
trusting the Lord in "naked" faith.
At such a time those who have personally experienced the
faithfulness of the Lord in their behalf are better able to
"rest" in the knowledge that He is indeed present,
even though there might not be a "feeling" of His
abiding presence. "Who is among you that feareth the
LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh
in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name
of the LORD, and stay upon his God" Isaiah 50:10.
During a time when it "appears" to us that the
Lord is far away, there may come the temptation to endeavor
to somehow produce, or force into our consciousness, a sense
of His presence. This will open a door that originates within
our own spirit and becomes manifest within our soul. Through
this door may come a very subtle counterfeit of His voice.
Thus, our own spirit will bring forth that which seems to
be the voice of the Lord. Rather, it is a dormant desire of
our own that has been suppressed and possibly forgotten. All
at once it is there, seeming to us as though the Lord is speaking
the very thing that we desire to hear.
The price tag for this lack of faith and trust in the "fact"
of His abiding presence is very high. "Behold, all ye
that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks:
walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye
have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie
down in sorrow" Isaiah 50:11.
One of the indications of our being spiritually mature is
the ability to walk in a determined "naked" trust
in the faithfulness of the Lord. For this reason the Lord
will, at times, withdraw His presence so as to "condition"
us toward being able to abide in this state of trust. "Who
is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice
of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light?
let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God."
It is in the "fact" of His abiding presence, whether
felt or not felt, that we are able to come into a true understanding
of His word and will for us in any given situation. As we
trust His faithfulness and rest in the fact of His presence,
His word will become illuminated and reveal to us the path
that we are to follow. "For with thee is the fountain
of life: in thy light shall we see light" Psalm 36:9.
It is of vital importance that we set aside the necessary
time to seek His manifest, or revealed presence while we abide
in the fact of His presence. The children of Israel were taught
a vital lesson concerning the importance of His abiding, or
manifest presence. ("in thy light shall we see light").
Had they truly valued this lesson, their history might have
"And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle,
then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the
place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel
pitched their tents. "At the commandment of the Lord
the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of
the Lord they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the
tabernacle they rested in their tents. And when the cloud
tarried long upon the tabernacle many days, then the children
of Israel kept the charge of the Lord, and journeyed not.
And so it was, when the cloud was a few days upon the tabernacle;
according to the commandment of the Lord they abode in their
tents, and according to the commandment of the Lord they journeyed."
The Lord made the need for, and the value of, His abiding
presence very plain to the Children of Israel. Through this
we also can learn a very important lesson. "Now all these
things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written
for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come"1
Cor 10:11. The Lord expects us to value His abiding presence,
and then rest in the fact of it, whether we feel it or not.
"In thy light shall we see light." As the fact
of His abiding presence becomes an increasing reality in our
lives, He will begin to cause His presence to become manifest
to us. Then in the glorious light of His manifested presence,
we will come into an ever enlarging, unfolding present understanding
of His word and purposes.
May we meditate upon His Faithfulness, and consider the
vital importance of abiding in His presence.