Summary: A sermon series revealing the secret to experiencing great intimacy with God, even when the clouds of darkness are looming overhead and God seems a million miles away.
When The Heavens Are As Brass
Throughout the years of my life as a Christian I have experienced an ever deepening holy dissatisfaction with spiritual mediocrity and have continued in desire to draw closer to God’s majesty - yearning for more of His glory. But it hasn’t exactly been a ‘walk in the park’.
Tragic events, the effects of sickness and disease, and the death of loved ones in my life brought times of sensing terrible loneliness that cut to the very core of my being. Doubts have come, flooding my heart and mind like a raging storm that caused me to question my beliefs and faith in God. My daily walk has at times felt like I was treading water and going nowhere. The call of God on my life seemed like an ancient echo. There has been intense pain from the feelings of rejection, betrayal, fear, insecurity, and abandonment. God has sometimes seemed hidden and felt a billion miles away.
Even when things appeared to be going well there were times of puzzling darkness. Throughout my life it has often seemed as if a dark cloud hovered overhead and blocked out the warmth and light of His beauty. The Bible felt dry and the heavens were as brass. I had become disillusioned, discouraged, depressed, and frustrated. The prophet Amos spoke of this very thing: “Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?”. (Amos 5:20 20 NKJV)
The Psalmist wrote about his own experience with this when he wrote “How long, O Lord ? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?”. (Ps 13 KJV) These questions have perplexed the human heart for centuries. God can often seem hidden in times of trouble and pain.
Clouds Of Darkness
When a person finds their self in clouds of darkness, they shouldn’t be dismayed but rather, they should rejoice for they are nearing "the secret place of the Most High.” (Ps 91:1 KJV) Jesus said, "Seek and you will find." (Matt 7:7 KJV) God has promised that when a person seeks Him with “all” their “heart” they will find Him! (See Jer 29:13) The only way to miss finding Him is if they’re not looking for Him!
Where God dwells, “Clouds and darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.” (Ps 97:2 NKJV) The prophet Ezekiel described the glory as coming from within a storm “from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in it's midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire" (Ez 1:4 NIV).
The storms of life that twist and turn through the wilderness will lead a person to the secret place so that they can behold His beauty. God will draw near and His glory will completely overwhelm them just as the priests who “could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.” (1 Kings 8:10-11 NKJV)