Summary: “What to do When God Disappears” There are three things you can do.
“What to do When God Disappears”
August 2, 2009
God had disappeared – or so it must have seemed to David. He was the one who had sat under the night stars with his sheep and communed with God. With the starry host overhead by night and the meadows filled with flowers and romping lambs, God must have seemed very near. God had helped him kill a lion and a bear with just a club. He had helped him kill a giant twice his size with just a sling. David knew what it was to have a close relationship with God. But now he was the king – or the “king in waiting” and with everything going on – he had lost that sweet presence of Almighty God. Listen to his lament.
“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"
“I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?" Psalm 42:9
Have you ever felt like King David? Have you ever felt alone and abandoned by God? Have you ever felt like God had disappeared and was nowhere to be found? Have you ever felt like God had shut the doors of heaven and no longer heard your prayers and no longer was blessing you?
If King David went through that trial – don’t you think all of us at one time or another will have to go through it, too? I think this is one of the most disturbing of our trials or tests. Sometimes ‘abandonment’ from God comes because of sin. Sin separates us from God. The Bible says,
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2
The first thing we need to do when we feel God has left us is to do a thorough inventory of our souls to see if sin has crept into our lives. If it has – we need to repent and continue on our way. But sometimes God seems to disappear and we have done nothing wrong. In fact, we have done everything right. This seems to be what King David is going through. Remember Job? (Job 1) He didn’t do a thing wrong to bring all his trouble on himself. God just allowed him to be tested for a season. It seemed it was to prove to Satan what a good and faithful man Job was. How about Jesus, Himself? On the cross He prayed in anguish, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46)
Sin will separate us from God and His blessings and presence – but if we pass the test and there is no rebellion in our hearts and lives, then what do we do? We continue on. First of all, we continue to place our hope in Jesus.
King David said, “Put your hope in God.” Job said, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him.” (Job 13:15)
The biblical definition of hope is: “The trusting expectation that God will keep His word.”
What that means to us is that we need to continue to “expect and trust” that God will do what He says He will do. We need to expect and trust that we will come through this trial. We need to expect and trust that God loves us and DOES hear our prayer. We need to expect and trust that God will open the doors of heaven once again – and bless us.
Some people don’t do that. They lose their hope. Life becomes spiritually hopeless. They fail the test. The result is they become bitter and angry with God. Some become ‘agnostic’. They believe there must be a divine Being; there must be a God, the evidence is undeniable; but they don’t believe we can know Him or have a personal relationship with Him. We are here and God is way out there somewhere – and doesn’t really care about us. We are pretty much on our own. Isn’t that a sad way to think?
Some people lose hope and think God has deserted them – so they desert God. They are kind of like ‘fair weather’ friends. They are there – as long as the blessings flow. But when the well of blessings run dry – they move on to other things. And they are susceptible to sin.
I think this is what happened to David. God’s presence left him. God’s love and comfort left Him. He prayed and cried and sought God to no avail. After a while his hope waned. And along came a lady by the name of Bathsheba – and David fell into sin. I think David put her in God’s place. He sought his love and comfort and blessing from her. God had forsaken him. God had abandoned Him – or so it seemed. David thought, “God doesn’t care about me. God isn’t here to object. So he sinned – Just like the Israelites did when Moses went up on the mountain to speak with God. They created their own God in the form of a golden calf. We sometimes do that when we ‘lose God’. When God takes His presence and blessing from us for a time – we are susceptible to turn to another God. It may be work or it may be play or it may be something else. Be on guard that you don’t create a false god for yourself.