The last few days … maybe even a little longer … I have felt myself slipping into nothingness … no sense of value, purpose and subsequently motivation. While certainly it can’t compare to what King Saul went thru when he lost the anointing of God due to his disobedience … but this account begins to help me understand what’s going on in my life.
Read and consider …
So he (Jesse – father of David) sent and brought him (David) in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah. Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him. Saul’s servants then said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is terrorizing you. Let our lord now command your servants who are before you. Let them seek a man who is a skillful player on the harp; and it shall come about when the evil spirit from God is on you, that he shall play the harp with his hand, and you will be well.” So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me now a man who can play well and bring him to me.” Then one of the young men said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the LORD is with him.” So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David who is with the flock.” Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread and a jug of wine and a young goat, and sent them to Saul by David his son. Then David came to Saul and attended him; and Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor bearer. Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David now stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight.” So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him. 1 Samuel 16:12-23 (ESV)
I can’t even begin to imagine what King Saul experienced. One day you are anointed by God and the Holy Spirit lives within you … then in a moment it’s gone. Simply losing that anointing in and of itself would drive a person crazy. But God also sent an evil spirit to terrorize King Saul …
Then in a somewhat prophetic message, preceding the sending of the Son of David – Jesus who would one day do the same for the world, God sends David himself to temporarily refresh King Saul and send the evil spirit away … WOW!
Today I do not believe God removes His Holy Spirit from the elect, born-again believer being sanctified … more on that in a moment …
Remember Jesus’ teaching on the vine …
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do NOTHING.” John 15:4-5 (ESV)
When you have experienced the fullness and abiding presence of Christ Jesus in your life, slipping out of such an experience can sometimes bring about this sense of nothingness … at least it does for me. The difference between ALL of Christ and a little of Christ is vast and daunting … Christ is indeed still present but the believer is quenching the work of the Holy Spirit …
Pray without ceasing;
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not quench the Spirit;
Do not despise prophetic utterances.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
Abstain from every form of evil.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-23 (ESV)
Quenching the Spirit … by not rejoicing always, by not praying continuously, by not giving thanks in all things, by denying prophetic utterances, by not holding fast to what is good, by not abstaining from every form of evil … by not abiding IN Christ Jesus … for a born-again believer this means experiencing but a fraction of Christ instead of the fullness of Christ. And while it does indeed feel like nothingness as I can attest … it is not. Christ is ever present and even in such moments He continues to do his sanctifying work.
Take a moment to read and meditate on that last bolded passage of 1 Thessalonians 5 above.
Oh Lord, examine me and reveal the errors of my way … convict me, sanctify me and restore me to the fullness of Christ and all that means!