Song of Solomon 5:6

(6) I opened for my Beloved, but my Beloved had turned away and was gone. My heart leaped up when He spoke. I sought Him, but I could not find Him; I called Him, but He gave me no answer.

The bride has opened her heart to her bridegroom's voice calling to her, only to have Him disappear. She looked for Him, but could not find Him. She called out to Him, but He did not answer. Where has He gone?

Have you ever had the Lord withdraw His manifest presence from you? Maybe you have been in a time of feeling His love and grace in your are being obedient to the best of your are seeking Him with your whole heart...and then, BAM! Suddenly you're aware that He is not with you as in the past. Of course, we know He's always with us. Hebrews 13:5 says, "He will never leave us or forsake us." But there are seasons in our life when we don't have to walk by faith alone, because we feel and experience His manifest presence with us. His manifest presence causes us to KNOW that He is real and right beside us. His manifest presence is as real as your earthly spouse or best friend being right beside you.

There are times when God will hide His manifest presence from us. It is a test of our faith. He is testing us to cause our hearts to mature in Him. The Lord will train every mature believer with this test. This type of testing cannot be dealt with by seeking Him more and it cannot be solved through more prayer and fasting. It's not initiated by the enemy and it's not caused by some sin. If you cannot find Him as is the past, be aware...He may be working to bring you into a whole a new level of maturity.

This test will draw out the true yearnings of our heart. It will cause us to seriously evaluate where we are with Him. Are we seeking Him primarily for the spiritual pleasure it brings us? Will we obey Him even when we don't feel His presence or leading? Will we be faithful to Him regardless of our circumstances? These are all questions we have to ask ourselves because if we are truly His and desire to grow in our relationship, this type of testing will come. If we are ready and aware, we can get through this test much quicker and with less heartache; but if we are not aware and ready, it can cause us much frustration and heartache. I'm not sure about you, but I want to get through the 'valley of weeping' as quickly as possible! Selah...

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