|I AM Here|
Now I know it can and does happen. It's a subtle seduction, more often the result of many smaller choices than of one specific choice.
Proverbs 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it."
1 Corinthians 16:13 says, "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong."
These verses make clear the necessity of guarding our hearts and standing firm. They should give us cause to realize that it's entirely possible to block the flow of the Spirit in our lives, simply by neglecting to guard our hearts. Of course He never leaves us, but our ability to sense His presence is diminished. When this happened to me, I felt lost and alone; so opposite from found and together with Him.
As difficult as it was, my dark passage was a significant spiritual process. I regret I didn't handle it by trusting. I didn't guard my heart or stand firm in my faith. I began making choices that I would never otherwise make, choices that only deepened the shadows. Everything seemed bleak, dark and cold. Where was the Holy Spirit?
He was there all the time, waiting for me to come into the revelation I needed to have. I now realize the necessity of "the dark passage." I have come through, and I see now that my faith needed strengthening. I know too, that as much as I trust my heavenly Father, I need to take the responsibility of guarding my heart and standing firm in my faith.
It took Mary and Joseph one day to discover Jesus wasn't with them, but it took three days to find him. It didn't take long for me to discover the perceived absence of the Spirit in my life, but the journey to restoration has taken time. It was a hard lesson, and a long one. Six years, but I'm grateful.