This month in Church History...January 2021
On January 14, 1743 David Brainherd wrote some powerful words that have spoken to many since. He wrote “My spiritual conflicts today were unspeakably dreadful, heavier than the mountains and overflowing floods. I seemed enclosed, as it were, in Hell itself; I was deprived of all sense of God, even of the being of a God; and that was my misery. I had no awful apprehensions of God as angry. This was distress, the nearest akin to the damned's torments, that I ever endured; their torment, I am sure, will consist much in a privation (lack) of God, and consequently of all good. This taught me the absolute dependence of a creature upon God the Creator, for every crumb of happiness it enjoys. Oh I feel that, if there is no God, though I might live for ever here, and enjoy not only this but all other worlds, I should be ten thousand times more miserable than a reptile. My soul was in such anguish I could not eat; but felt as I suppose a poor wretch would that is just going to the place of execution.”
David Brainherd often sought after the presence of Jesus, and experienced it, but clearly not this time. This speaks to me today, because there are times that I find myself in where I seek Jesus, but I don’t feel Him at all. The Heavens feel like brass, there is nothing. Sometimes, we can feel so distant away from Jesus. I believe that these times that are truly important for us, and cause us to grow much in Christ. Many today seek Jesus/Holy Spirit as if He were a drug, and they just want another good hit, a delight, an ecstasy. I truly believe that this is one of the main reasons why we do not always have incredible encounters with Jesus. If we always felt it, we would become a so called drug addict. In the times when we do not feel Him at all, are the times when we should still seek after Him, even if we get nothing in return. I see this as a true showing of character for the Christian. Will you still seek after Jesus even if you don’t feel or get anything in return? Just as a side note, obviously Jesus is always with us, we need not to seek Him. I use it in a way of pursuing after Him, or drawing near to Him, Like Moses wanting more of God in Exodus 33 and James 4:8.
When you seek and worship Jesus we should always have the mentality in mind that we are here to serve Jesus. He is not here as our little genie. We must serve Him with praise. Nothing wrong with seeking something from Him, but we must not allow that to be number one when seeking Him. Number one should be “Lord what can I do for you”, not “Lord here’s what you can do for me”.
Reminds me of the words of President John F. Kennedy “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. Will you seek/pursue/desire to worship Jesus even when you feel nothing? Will you ask Him “Lord what can I do for you?” Or are you just one of those people who only want a good hit, and see God as your personal genie? If you do, I pray that you are convicted.
Pastor Matthew Pipke