Drawing Near to God When God Seems Far Away (pt 1)
When we choose to become committed followers of Christ, we are one spirit with Him, but we still experience times when God seems distant. Sometimes this is a result of going through a developmental stage in our spiritual growth. God gives us the "bottle" of consolation. At first, we seek God in order to get pleasure. God's goal is to make our heart His home. The next stage is the love of God for love's sake.
A. Spiritual writers' observation about "dry times"
1. Spiritual consolation often comes to individuals when they are less mature and spiritual desolation comes to more mature believers
2. Consolation and desolation must be based more on what God is doing than on what we are doing
B. Developmental spirituality: Biblical data (I John 2:12-14)
1. Beginner: Love of God for pleasure's sake
a. This stage corresponds to children how sins are forgiven, having a "relationship with God"
b. Characterized by spiritual pleasure
c. The, the soul is moved to spiritual things due to the consolation of pleasure that we get from them.
2. Sins of the beginner
3. Dark night of the senses