When the ground is hard, the fields won’t yield, and the cattle are parched for lack of water, we love rain. We talk about it. We look for it. And when it comes, we welcome it.
But when the grass is green, the crops are plentiful, and every thirst is quenched, we decide we’ve had enough and wish rain away.
We do the same thing with God.
When life is hard, we don’t feel the way we want to feel, and our hearts long for something more than we can provide for ourselves, we love God. We talk about Him. We look for Him. When He makes His presence known, we welcome it, even if it means changing the way we do things for a while.
But once God’s presence fills and satisfies, we, in our arrogance, decide we’ve had enough, and the greatest blessing mankind has ever known begins to feel like an inconvenience.
Adulterous, we open ourselves up to diversions that promise to thrill—or just entertain us. Careless, we allow communication with God to be cut off while we spend what He has lavished on us for the purpose of worshipping Him on lesser gods. We continue to claim contentment in God’s presence—believe it ourselves—but our actions prove otherwise.
Finally, when we are dried up and aching, we love Him again. We talk about Him. We look for Him. As if God could ever be conjured and human beings had the power to do so, we posture ourselves like worshippers and say words that may or may not be sincere.
But God is Spirit. He must be worshipped in spirit and truth (John 4:24).
If ever you did experience God, that was His grace to you. If you do not experience Him now, there’s a reason. It could be that you have come up with your own idea of what God’s activity in your life should look/feel like and are waiting in vain for a show that was never even scheduled to start, or it could be that you have the right idea, but aren’t willing to do what it takes to experience God like you want to.
Yes, God’s presence brings with it the inexplicable peace, awe-inspiring power, and rapturous joy we all crave, but His presence also requires respect, humility, and a genuflection of heart before the King of Kings that cannot be faked, no matter how many times we practice.
Make no mistake: God will not be mocked or manipulated (Galatians 6:9). All glory is His alone (Isaiah 42:8).
So go ahead and ask God to show Himself to you—please, do!—but understand that with God’s presence comes repentance, or turning away from things that do not reflect His will and character in genuine pursuit of His holiness.
Until you embrace both, you’ll experience neither (2 Timothy 2:25).