The Hottentots are a people in the Kalahari desert who will tie a monkey for hours in the hot sun until it is really thirsty, then release it. A monkey’s instinct is to look for water when it is thirsty and this will lead the Hottentots to where the water is. In hot pursuit they will follow it to the water points.
We have been called to desire and hunger for God in this way. In Christianity our walk is made only more meaningful and if we become deeper in the things of God.
Unfortunately we seem to suffer from surface-level religiosity that is external and certainly not deep. An extravagant love for God is what we need, one that will lie broken and contrite in His presence. One that will not care who is watching us or what people are saying about our worship, but rather one that lets go of the self and baths in the glory of our master Jesus Christ; an abandonment of the spirit at the foot of the cross.
Some of us are going through spiritual dryness and wonder what the excitement of salvation is all about. Some of us even think that we have ‘arrived’ and watch the rest from our roof tops of spirituality. We do not want anything more that intimacy with our Lord has to offer because we feel that we have reached our destination in terms of how we worship Him.
Yet we need a sense of longing, a hunger, a desire for God that leaves us panting for more and not contentment for what is because we can never really know God enough. One person said that real revival starts with a sense of discontentment with the status quo.
In our dryness of no heartfelt activity and lacking in depth, some of us are asking ourselves, “Is this all there is to Christianity?’ Are we at that point when miracles happening around us just sound nice for other people, or are for another place and time but have nothing to do with us? Is the Holy Spirit talked about but not experienced in our lives?
In Isaiah 63:7-64:7, he uses a prophetic binoculars to remind the children of Israel of the love of God and how He has always pulled them out of distressful situations. He first prompts them to appreciate the past when the Lord stayed with them in the wilderness in their period of captivity. He talks of the happenings at the Red Sea and of Moses when they saw water gush out of rocks.
Today however, we are a generation that has never seen God move. When people say, ‘Come and see’, we do not get it. We are the generation that has no recollections whatsoever of what the Lord may have done in the past. We have no memory nor recollection of our Lord’s might. Nothing exists in our reservoir of memory concerning this great God. Although we have heard of great revivals that broke people down, nothing comes to memory concerning our own lives. We have no history about the greatness of the Lord in our own lives. Like the Israelites before recollection in Isaiah 63:11, we are now asking where this God is when we need Him. We have forgotten the many times He has come through for us, the many healings we have received in His name, the number of times He has made it possible for us to get jobs or to avoid accidents. We have rebelled against His goodness in our lives and gone our own ways; we have grieved His Holy Spirit.
Oh that the desire to know Him more may be birthed in our hearts! That we may see Him more clearly, have Him more nearly and love Him more dearly! Oh that we may remember how faithful He has been in our lives. Oh that we may know Him more!
Isaiah asks that God may come down in chapter 64 so that the children of Israel may once again experience His might and His faithfulness. He uses the imagery of fire and volcanoes to show God’s might.
Isaiah is crying out for fire, yet we too need it in our churches, in our midst, in our assemblies. We need a trembling awareness of the Lord and not just casual worship. Where is the fear of the Lord as we saunter into churches late? Where is our trembling awareness of who He really is? Is He just a man upstairs to be asked for things? Do we really know our God like Isaiah did?
Isaiah asks the God he has known to come down. In 64:4 he says, ‘Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you’. In 1Corinthians 2:9, Paul resonates with a similar awe of God’s power, ‘No eye has seen no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him’.
Mediocrity is about being average, it is about lack of vision and a tendency to compromise. Christ does not call us to be these things. We are to be the light of the world. Radical Christianity is about a people who are willing to go the extra mile to snatch people from the fires of hell; for many souls are perishing even as we continue living in our comfort zones.
Majority of us are just contented to be saved. We are no longer a threat to the devil. We do not desire growth, we are happy to be ordinary Christians. We have no longing for the Lord to shake our beings and set us on fire for His name’s sake. We cannot imagine being undignified in worship because, God forbid, what would people say about us? But as Paul asks the Corinthians in 1Cor 1:13, ‘…. Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?’ We too should look at ourselves and wonder why other people’s opinion of our worship should bother us-did they die for us? Were they crucified for us? Only Christ matters, only he died for us and only he showed us the face of the Father. Our worship should exemplify our appreciation of this fact. We should worship him in awe and reverence for he is our everlasting King.
Oh that we may be witnesses to the church of God by being the CHURCH OF GOD!
We should appreciate our merciful God; in Isaiah 64:5 the writer does this,’ You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry’,. But we must also acknowledge of His wrath, Isaiah 65:3-5 says, ‘a people who continually provoke me to my very face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick; who sit among the graves and spend their nights keeping secret vigil; who eat the flesh of pigs and whose pots hold broth of unclean meat; who say, “Keep away; don’t come near me, I am too sacred for you!’ Such people are smoke in my nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day’.
Today we too have people in our churches who serve other gods, who come to church supposedly to worship God but have another foot in witchcraft, polygamy, fornication or adultery. Is it really possible to serve more than one master? Is this what we have reduced our God to?
God uses people such as you and me to show His glory. But the extent to which He will use you will largely depend on how desperate you are for Him. Is there anything that would hinder you from doing more for Him, want more of Him, long more for Him? Then that is your other god.
God never changes, He remains the same day in day out. If there is dryness in our hearts, it is because we have moved away from Him. He never moves away from us even though sometimes it may feel like that. His sole intention is to commune with us that we may know Him more. In Isaiah 65:1-2 He affirms this,’ I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, “Here I am, here I am”. All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations, a people who continually provoke me to my very face…’
Have you moved away from God and are therefore experiencing this spiritual dryness in your salvation? Then come and see...a man…Jesus Christ. He has been here, all along, waiting for you.