A few friends of mine who are dealing with Oklahoma weather have been using the time to reflect. Stephen wrote yesterday a post called Alone to Hear and today Mz. Butterworth was writing about the isolation the weather is dealing us in a post called Desolate. It is an odd day, then, to be reading My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. Today's devo addresses this aloneness.
Have You Ever Been Alone With God?
When He was alone . . . the twelve asked Him about the parable —Mark 4:10
His Solitude with Us. When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted desires, a broken friendship, or a new friendship— when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us. Notice Jesus Christ’s training of the Twelve. It was the disciples, not the crowd outside, who were confused. His disciples constantly asked Him questions, and He constantly explained things to them, but they didn’t understand until after they received the Holy Spirit (see John 14:26).
As you journey with God, the only thing He intends to be clear is the way He deals with your soul. The sorrows and difficulties in the lives of others will be absolutely confusing to you. We think we understand another person’s struggle until God reveals the same shortcomings in our lives. There are vast areas of stubbornness and ignorance the Holy Spirit has to reveal in each of us, but it can only be done when Jesus gets us alone. Are we alone with Him now? Or are we more concerned with our own ideas, friendships, and cares for our bodies? Jesus cannot teach us anything until we quiet all our intellectual questions and get alone with Him.
I've been thinking about this stuff myself because of a renewed challenge to strengthen my personal accountability with others. It use to be so easy but one-by-one those I have walked with have left the path of desperate hunger for God in God's holiness. I figure everyone cycles on and off but I feel abandoned by those who simply switched off. There is no hunger. There is no thirst. There is only life's dailyness forcing the air out our lungs…lulling us to sleep. I succome to it and then wake up again. I hate seeing my shortcomings but I've found life in this desperate pursuit. I see life in the tension of others knowing me well and asking me to be true to who I am and what I say I'm about. I find life when these tensions rouse me out of my sleep.
Chambers says that these are the places where God deals with us.
Rev 3:2 – "Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. (NASB)
Incomplete. That's why God continues to deal life at me. When we're done with that process, probably we're out of here.