There’s a famous saying: “When God feels far away, guess who moved?” (author unknown). That’s a really powerful and profound statement. Ponder that statement, let it sink in. Is it a statement that you’ve heard before?
So many times in the Bible we see God’s chosen people, Israel, see and experience amazing miracles performed by God’s hands. I mean, after all these were the people who were rescued from Egypt by God’s ten plagues; released from bondage; chased by the Egyptians; they saw the Red Sea parted before their very eyes – completely parted – and passed through on dry land; their pursuers were annihilated; given water directly from a rock; supplied with material food every day in the desert; captured Jericho by marching around the city for seven days and blowing trumpets. I mean could it be any plainer to these people that God is the Great I AM, that God is who He says He is? How could they turn away from that, how could they turn away from Him? They were/are a people steeped in tradition, and be assured that tradition is well known to them.
And, unless you are a new believer, I am pretty sure that you know this too. So, the question then becomes: How could we turn away from God? He’s never gone anywhere, He’s always there. When we cry out to God and we say “God where are you?,” well guess what? He’s there. We’re the ones who have moved. We’ve moved into the world, we’ve given into our selfish desires, we’ve lost focus on what the real issue is. God is there, and we are not walking with Him. Why do we do this? I think that in many cases it’s because we’ve decided that what we want now, be that money, fame, love, attention, family, husband, children, sex, etc. – in other words, instant gratification or an instant fix to fill up our lives. In other cases, it may be that we wander away because current or past experiences, whether caused by us, or caused to us, made us think that we are unworthy.
These stories placed in our handbook, the Bible, are not just stories from days of old. They are put there for a reason. God, in His infinite wisdom, knows our natures, after all He created us, right? Does He need us? Probably not. God is God and He can do whatever He wants to do. But, God loves us, each and every one of us. So, He in His infinite wisdom, plainly shows us how we can experience revival. I prefer the word restoration – a returning to something of an original condition; putting something back into a former position. We cry out, we get our focus back on God and off of the world, we confess, we repent, and we pray. God has not moved, we have, and in his grace (unmerited favor), we are restored. God knows we will stumble, and God gives us directions on how to move back into a right relationship with Him.
Time and time again, I stray, I lose focus on the vertical (God) and I take focus on the horizontal (world). In fact, I don’t think that I can even count the times I’ve removed my focus from God. And, time and time again, God shows me the path, and restores me onto Himself. You think that I would learn. But, I’m just like those Israelites!