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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Dark Night of the Soul

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Lately I have been talking to a lot of committed Christians who, for no apparent reason seem to think that God has stopped listening to them. They feel abandoned by HIM or like he is hiding from them. They say things like: “It feels like my prayers are just bouncing off the walls.” or “I have been asking God for _____ for weeks, and he doesn’t answer me at all.” This leads most of them start asking me what do I think is the problem with them that they can’t hear or feel God in their lives anymore.

As a pastor, this is one of the most frustrating questions to be asked. I mean if there is sin in their lives, then that is probably what is blocking God and usually he will tell me or the person I am talking to will let something slip that shows me what is between them and God but a lot of times they are living in right relationship and still aren’t hearing the voice of God or feel his presence in their lives. When that happens, I try to explain that besides unconfused sin there are two other reasons that we might not be hearing from God.

So the first reason besides a break in your relationship with God is that the enemy is delaying God’s answer to you so that you will either accuse yourself of some unknown unresolved sin, or so that you will accuse God of breaking his promise to never leave us. (Hebrews 10:5, Deuteronomy 31:6 and Matthew 28:20) God is Truth and therefore, cannot lie since he promised to never leave us, to be with us until the end of the earth then we know that he is here. Since he promises “call on me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you don’t know” (Jeremiah 33:3) we know that he is keeping his word.

However, if we look at Daniel chapter 10, we see an example of the enemy delaying an answer to prayer. Daniel 10:12&13 say this:
12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.
for 21 days the answer to Daniels prayers were delayed by the prince of Persia this is not a physical prince but the demonic prince of the region of Persia. Why would Satan or his demons delay our answer from getting to us.

Well, scripture tells us that he is the accuser. The response of everyone I talked to about this recently have proven it. They all wanted to know what sin they were committing that was stopping God from having fellowship with him. Sometimes it is sin but if it is God will reveal it so that it can be dealt with. Satan also uses it to accuse God of breaking his promise. This is the oldest trick in his arsenal of tricks against mankind. it is the one he used on Eve in the garden if you think about it boiled down to its most basic is God is a liar, he is keeping stuff from you. He didn’t keep his word making you in his image. He made you less than him. And we buy into it almost every time at least until we learn that is what he is doing, and then we are aware of this trick and it doesn’t work as well. There is one other reason for us not to hear God for a period, and it was called by the Christian mystics of old the “Dark Night of the Soul.

2. The Dark Night of the Soul was a term created by Saint John of the Cross in 1587. It is a time of Stillness when God hides his presence from our perception to cause us to seek him harder. It happens only when God is trying to take us to a new level of relationship with Him. It leads to a deadening for a period of time of everything spiritual in our lives we have no desire to seek the things of God. By that I mean we don’t “feel” like it; we may want to in our spirit, but our emotions seem to disconnect from our spirit. We are as several people have told me lately “Just going through the motions”.

This is held out in scripture look at most of the psalms of David. They are either songs of praise to God or cries for God not to hide himself any longer. As an example look at Psalms 13: 1-3 in those first three verses of this psalm David asks how long to God 4 times and ends verse three by saying if you don’t reveal yourself to me soon I am going to die. And yet the Psalm ends with David standing in faith on what he knows to be true not what he is feeling is the truth. Read this whole psalm to see what I am talking about.

Some people ask me how I know that the Dark night of the soul is not just sin in our lives that we don’t know about. My answer is found in Isaiah 50:10 It says “Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness And has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD And rely upon his God.”

Notice that those who walk in darkness and have no light put their trust in God. This is a Biblical description of that Dark Night of the Soul.

If you happen to be finding yourself in a Dark Night of the Soul take heart, they are not permanent, they are to see if you are willing to press on; and in doing so you enter a deeper relationship with God that isn’t based on feelings or what you can see, hear and feel. It is a relationship with God based on what you KNOW is True. He will never leave you or forsake you. So take heart and press through till you see the LIGHT in your darkest night.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

Review of Nourished by Becky Johonson and Rachel Randolph.

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As a FlyBy Promotions reviewer, I get the chance to review a lot of cool products. I was asked to participate in a review for a new book for women titled “Nourished: A search for Health, Happiness and a Full Nights Sleep.” Written by Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph.

The a

uthors are a mother and daughter and part of the “Woman of Faith” team. This is their second book written together. The title caught my eye, so I thought I’d give it a try. That is when my problem started. Honestly, I tried to read this book, but I couldn’t connect with the authors, probably because I was a man.

However, I do know a woman who I thought might be able to help me out. I happen to be married to her. So for this review I want to welcome my wife Sheri to the blog to talk about her impressions of the book Nourished.

Sheri: Thanks for letting me share with your readers.

Me: Well I knew if anyone could help me review this book it would be you. So thank you for taking the time to read the book and give me your impressions on it.

Me: Tell me what you thought of the book overall.

Sheri: I thought it was good. I personally liked it and saw where it was needed. It teaches women about the need for balance in your life and then gives ideas for how to get that balance. The fact that it was written by a mother and daughter allowed the examples and suggestions to reach both younger and older women. I think these ideas will help me and would help our daughter as well.

Me: So you said you thought it was needed are you saying that women today are so busy that they don’t have balance in their lives?

Sheri: Most of us have more moments of imbalance between our physical, emotional and spiritual lives. Maybe because we’re too busy, we haven’t been taught to seek that balance, or we think doing so will take more time than we have to give.

ME: What are some of the things that you learned that you need to work on to maintain that balance in your life?

 

Sheri: One of the things that I guess I knew but had gotten away from was exercising daily. I’m not talking kill yourself work out but even just a simple 30-minute walk or sometimes on a treadmill or at the pool just something physical to keep my body in better shape and release those chemicals that exercise helps keep in check in our body.

Another thing I got was taking the time to sit and really talk with our kids and grand kids. To stay a part of their lives. Not just to do for them but to talk with them and listen to them. To let them know that they are important to me, and that I want to still be there for them.

The last big thing I got was that I needed to nurture mature relationships with the people I consider friends. I realized that I need to spend some quality time with them. Not just those few minutes when we run into each other in the street or before or after church. To spend real time getting to know them and letting them get to know me. That way when I need emotional support, my support people are invested in me and I in them.

Me: So besides the things you learned in the book. What were some of the things about it that you liked?

Sheri: These two women were open and honest about their lives. They didn’t preach balance they showed how they had needed balance in their own lives. They gave examples from their lives. They showed how they messed up along the way and showed how they got back in balance when they slipped up.

They had a way of taking their most horrifying moments and filling them with humor.

Me: Would you recommend this book to other women?

Sheri: Yes, I think that every Christian woman would be able to get something from this book. I even suggest that pastors get a copy and keep on their bookshelves to help the women in their congregations.

Me: Well thanks for helping me with this review. I really appreciate it.

 

Sheri: I was glad to help you know that.

So there you have it my wife says this book is a definite 5 stars for women and will be a real blessing to any age lady who picks up a copy.

And if you want you can enter here to win a free copy. Just comment below and I’ll enter you in a drawling to win a copy. One lucky person will get their own copy of Nourished: A Search for Health, Happiness, and a Full Nights Sleep.”

Until next time God bless you all. -PG

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Book Reviews