Do you trust the Lord even when you have no feelings? We need to remember that God often withdraws His sensible presence from us to test and purify our faith. Will you still follow the Lord even when you don’t “feel” Him with you? In this excerpt, Paul Washer considers a truth from Isaiah 50.
I want you to look at something. Isaiah chapter 50 verse 10. This is in the servant song. “Who is among you that fears the Lord that obeys the voice of his servant?” Man, you are in a right relationship with God if this is you. You fear the Lord and obey the voice of his servant. That’s the Son. You have obeyed, the voice, his son, when he said to rise and live. “That walks in darkness and has no light.” Hold it, Michael was teaching that the true Christian walks in the light. That’s exactly what John says. That’s exactly what John says. Walks in the revelation of God walks in the light of God, the glory of God, yes, the purity of God–all that. So what is he saying? He is talking about believers when God in his grace– remember how Abraham had nothing to look at? To hold up his faith? Except the promise and God’s character. Here’s what God’s going to you, believer, you’re going to be crying out: “I want to feel something. I want to feel something.” “I want to see something.” And there are times when things like that, a sense of the presence of God, are entirely appropriate and needful. But when you really start getting into the more difficult classes in God’s teaching. He will leave you at times in utter darkness. Leave you without anything to sustain your hope or your faith except your knowledge of his character. And if God promised to hold the hand of Messiah when he walked on the earth, you can be sure that he holds the hands of the Messiah’s disciples. “So let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.” Let him do that. Not trust in what he can see. God will take away your feeling. He will even take away the sense of his love from you. He will sometimes leave you, and it seems completely barren. Why is he doing it? That you learn to trust in the nature, the character, the word of your God! And then he goes on. , “Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches! Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled! This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.” These are people who say, “No, your character is not enough.” “Your word is not enough.” “I need to see something.” “I need to feel something!” And so they go out there, and they acquire strange fire. They’ve got to have some experience. They’ve got to have something because just trusting in the nature of God… And so many believers will come to me and they’ll go. “I’m believing, but it’s almost as though I see nothing. I feel nothing. There’s nothing to support me at all.” And I’m going, “Oh, child. And yet you find yourself believing. And yet you find yourself going forward.” Or I’ll tell them something like this. “Good enough, it seems quite hopeless in your case. Did you drink and party before you became a Christian?” “Oh yes, I did.” Well go back to it if I was you; let’s eat and drink for tomorrow we die. “I can’t do that.” No, no really, really go open door. I’ll look up some in the Yellow Pages or get on the Internet for you. Go out and have a bang up time. “I can’t do that.” Why? Why? “Because of my God.” Hmmm, sounds to me like God is making you a spectacle at this moment. And he’s very happy; because he has left you with nothing. He’s drawn from you everything. And yet, at the same time in heaven, he’s boasting of you, “Look at my servant who walks in darkness and has no light but trusts in my name.” Do you see? Now, so many of you can identify with that, and you’re going, “What I thought was a desert because of my sin is actually God getting greater glory from me than he would have if I had all kinds of things around me supporting up my faith.” Do you see?