And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; I cannot go into the house of the Lord:– Jeremiah 36:5 KJV
There are times when God wants to pull you aside- shut you in, so to speak- so that He can pour some truth into you; maybe take more untruth out of you- refine you, prune you, exhort you- Bless you!
Think of Elijah, for example, who thought himself the only person left to serve the Lord because he had just destroyed the prophets of Baal without help from anyone else (except God of course). God comes and ministers to Elijah immediately following this very intense experience. Elijah is so exhausted in every sense- mentally, physically, and spiritually- that God ends up refreshing him in a cave (symbolic of the rest we find only in Christ Jesus the Lord). It is there in the silence of that cave, after the intensity of all that he had endured began to subside and after he poured out his heart to God that he was able to hear the still small voice of the Lord (1 Kings 19:9-18).
The same holds true for us today! Its when we stop- when the pressures of life and ministry are given a chance to decompress and we pour our hearts out to the Lord that truth will be revealed to us through Him.
The problem for most people is that they are not willing to be pulled aside or shut up for a season. Maybe they doubt God is the one calling them to it. Maybe they do not want to disappoint anyone they do ministry with by stepping aside for a time. Maybe they are just so sure of themselves and the spiritual knowledge that they already have that they pridefully refuse to even entertain Gods pulling on their heart! Whatever the case may be, those that refuse to do His will often find themselves forced to comply (whom the Lord loves He chastens) either by sickness or some other harsh and abrupt means- job loss, ministry loss, family loss…you get the picture.
Others that refuse may find that they are no longer feeling a draw from God at all. He has repeatedly attempted to get their attention but because of their blind eyes, deaf ears, and puffed up hearts He has turned His face away from them. They will now have to endure a season, sometimes several, of life void of His closeness and, perhaps, even His blessed favor. God resist the proud and gives grace unto the humble (James 4:6). May they learn that truth during their dry season in the desert wilderness, emerging to meet the Lord in humility and readiness to obey once He deem it time to draw them close again!
It’s a sure thing that God will call all of us to the side more than once in our walk with Him. In order to avoid falling off the narrow path of life which He has lighted for us it is essential that we listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and go when He says go; stay when He says stay; and that we be open to His teachings at all times. Always remembering the words of 1 Corinthians 8:2 which states, And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.