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Dark Night of the Soul

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Macky92, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Macky92

    Macky92 Newbie

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    Why would God interfere with us if he gave us free will? Does he really interfere? I was reading writings by St. John of the Cross and I am kind of baffled by how God can put us through something like that. Purging the soul of all senses, throwing us into despair for years, to bring us closer to him. Why doesn't God just bring us closer to him without all the terrible affects.
     
  2. Pal Handy

    Pal Handy Irregular Member

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    God help us...
    I went through a very dark time in my life when God literally
    separated me from people...

    It was strange and not very pleasant and perplexing.

    At one point I was placed in a job at work where I had very little
    interaction with anyone at work...

    My friends seem to dry up.

    I had no church fellowship.

    Family looked at me like I had lost my mind.

    I had a lot of time to pray and cry out to the Lord.

    Somehow someone told me about the Dark Night Of The Soul and I
    began to read the book and everything in the book was exactly
    what I was going through...

    I started to embrace the DNOTS and actually looked at it as
    an honor somehow bestowed on me by God to suffer for
    Him and to be purged and made clean for God's use.

    But something wasn't right...
    I began to clearly see that I had pride in this DNOTS and that
    I was beginning to see that I had gotten off the path
    and was traveling down another dead end of my own religious
    desire to justify myself before God by how good I was or by
    how willing I was to make myself suffer "for Him".

    I finally came to my senses and I prayed and asked God to forgive me
    for relying on my filthy rags of self righteousness by causing
    myself to suffer and for pursuing a path that God hasn't called me to.

    I began to see once again that it is only Christ that can please the Father
    and that as long as we trust in, rely up and cling to Christ's
    right standing before the Father as imputed to us by faith in Christ alone,
    we are accepted by God our Father on Christ's merits and never our own.

    The DNOTS is an exercise in futility and will always fail miserably.

    It is nothing more than man trying once again to please God
    by being pure and Holy in himself and by his own actions or deeds
    of suffering and self sacrifice.

    The only self sacrifice we can ever make is to surrender to Christ's will
    and do what He wants us to do and live as He wants us to live.

    The only suffering that will come will be from persecution and rejection as
    we lift up Jesus and proclaim His salvation....but that is all joy
    because God will embrace us and draw us close to Himself in love and affection
    as our lives reflect Christ and not our own righteousness.

    God knows how to affirm His love to us when we allow Christ to live in and through us.

    God doesn't call anyone to the Dark Night Of The Soul,
    that is man's self justification by what WE THINK WILL PLEASE GOD.

    Christ said that His burden is easy and His yoke is light so
    anyone who puts on the yoke of the DNOTS does so in their own
    desire to please God apart from what Christ has already done for us.

    God was separating me to spend time with Him, not to suffer
    so I would be more acceptable to Him.

    We have full access...
    I can come day or night right to God's throne and talk to Him directly...

    Look at my signature line and tell me if I have pass through the DNOTS
    and come to my senses of who I am in Christ.

    Ps There is still a separation process going on as I have little fellowship
    with family, friends or coworkers but I am becoming acustom to it
    and not so worried about it now because I know now that God has
    a purpose in it to cause me to rely on Him at this time.

    He is leading me and I am seeing a door that is beginning to open for me
    in service to Him.

    This time will not be me but Him...

    I tried to open so many doors and now to see God do it,
    makes the wait worth every moment spent.

    We all have so much pride in us that sometimes God has to strip us down
    and bring us back to square ONE where we will always belong,
    with Him as our first love, as we allow Him to lead while we follow....
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  3. Macky92

    Macky92 Newbie

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    @Pal Handy

    Hi Pal Handy, thank you for the reply. What you explained is exactly what I am going through. The separation from people, family thinking you've lost it. Did you not also feel a separation from God as well? No matter how many times I pray it seems like there is no connection and my prayers seem to go unanswered. How long did your DNOTS last?
     
  4. janealex

    janealex Newbie

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    informative thread. thanks
     
  5. Pal Handy

    Pal Handy Irregular Member

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    Yes I did...
    I felt as if there was a wall between God and myself.

    What you need to realize is that there is never a wall between God
    and us but it only "seems" like a wall is there from our point of view.

    A dear friend of mine long ago who taught me how to punch through the
    wall that we think is between us and God.

    We would get together and begin to thank and praise the Lord
    and then we would begin to worship Him by telling Him
    that we loved and appreciated all He has done for us and before
    we knew it the wall was gone (our perception not God's reality).

    You have direct access to God in Christ so use it.

    Make the devil into a liar and punch through his false veil
    of lies and get into God's presence.

    God want you to overcome your fears and doubts and to believe
    Him at His word and to begin to come into agreement with Him
    and what He has said about you.

    God loves you....
    God desires that you come into His presence.
    The whole purpose for this separation from others is that you would come to Him
    and learn what it means to spend time with Him.

    I remember one time I was in God's presence so deeply that everything
    faded away in a sense and all there was was God and me in His presence of
    perfect peace and God said to me "do you know why I want you to worship me?
    because when you have your heart and mind on me,
    I can keep you in my perfect peace and bless you"

    Do you see it?

    Our worship and fellowship with God is for our benefit because when we
    come into that place of worship, God can minister to us...

    We think we are blessing Him and He wants to bless us...

    God is so selfless it blows my mind...

    Those that think God wants us to worship Him out of His selfishness have it wrong.

    When we worship Him, He is able to bless us in ways we can't even understand.

    God is separating you to Himself so spend time with Him in the
    place of worship and surrender.

    Come into agreement with Him and confess His love for you and allow
    that confession to cause the love He has for you to rise up in you
    and return to Him again.

    God is so amazingly selfless and He so wants to bless us and reveal the depths of His love for us.

    God never puts up walls to us coming to Him.

    It is our faulty perception fuel by the devils lies that cause us to believe
    there could ever be a wall between us and our Father.

    God came as a man to prove once and for all His love for us.

    God took all the guilt, blame and shame on Himself.

    Who could ever accuse God when He has taken on Himself the
    sins of all men for all time.

    Confess God's love for you and let that love rise up in you and return
    to the one who loves you beyond all human understanding.

    There is a great book you might enjoy called Absolute Surrender written
    by Andrew Murray that really help me to see where God is taking
    us who want to find Him a deeper way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  6. LWB

    LWB Regular Member

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    Why do men bother to climb Mount Everest when they can just climb a metre high mound? I would suggest because they love the challenge, and the reward is far greater.

    You can view life as a painful tragedy, or an all consuming adventure. Just depends upon your attitude.
     
  7. Emmy

    Emmy Senior Veteran

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    Dear Macky92. You had some good replies, and to your question: " Why does`nt God just bring us closer to him without all the terrible affects?" It is straightforward, God does not force us in any way, God has given us free will to choose for ourselves. God gave us His Commandments, ( loving advice) and we can follow them or ignore them. Jesus told us in Matthew, chapter 22, verses 35-40: " On the two Commandments, 1) Love God with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our minds, 2) Love our neighbour as ourselves," hang all the Law and the Prophets." God wants our love, freely given and no conditions asked. The Bible also tells us again and again: Repent, change our character from being selfish and unloving, TO: love God with all our beings and love our neighbour as ourselves. ( our neighbour being all we know and all we meet, friends or not friend) If God would bring us just closer to Him with out the terrible affects, would`nt that make us just puppets, without a will of our own? to do and say as we are told? God loves us, and God wants loving children/sons and daughters. Love is a Christian`s weapon, Love will conquer All, and Love will overcome all animosity and angry words and wrong desires. A good way to start being as God wants us to be: is to treat all others, kind or not very kind people,( neighbours) as we would love to be treated. With Kindness and charity, a helping hand when needed and a friendly word or smile, instead ignoring or even looking the other way. We are all made in God`s image, and God will see our sincere efforts to follow His Commandments to love, and God will approve and bless us. It seems a bit hard for us to start, but Love will grow and grow, and in time to love will become second nature to us. Jesus will give us His Love and Joy, and the Holy Spirit will empower us with His Love. Jesus told us: " ask and ye will receice." We gratefully accept the given Love and share it with all around us. There will be NO Dark Nights of the Soul ever, Macky. I say this with love, and send greetings. Emmy, sister in Christ. P.S. It is God`s eternal Law which will give us rewards for what we sow. "Reap what we sow:" follow Gods loving advice and we will have just and helpful Love and rewards, ignore God`s loving advice ( Commandments) and we will get fitting rewards, to teach and change us.
     
    Habakk likes this.
  8. salida

    salida Veteran

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    1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

    1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.


    Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
     
    2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
     
  9. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

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    I also went through a DNOTS, and it lasted many years. It began when my first church imploded, leaving me aborted, completely broken and untrusting in the church.

    In my pain, I reached out for understanding, and the deep RC traditions seemed to have it. Another book in like vein was The Cloud of Unknowing.

    But despite John of the Cross being recommended to me, even by some Prots, I could not stay in it long at all. It did not minister life, and I intuitively knew that the answer to my problem could not be so intellectual. Jesus had said that we must enter the Kingdom with the simplicity of a child, or not at all.

    So I finally put down all the books and theories, and decided that God is faithful, just as the Bible asserts. I began to call on Hiis name, but this time I exercised FAITH. It wasn't just my misery I was sending up to Him, though some of that did continue, to be sure. And I wasn't trusting in my ability to understand my situation. My confidence was in the Lord.

    As I began to believe - as I dared to believe despite my most wretched condition - Gospel grace working through faith (Eph 2.8) began to lift me above my old self (Rom 8.1-7). It wasn't nearly as dramatic as the first time I was saved, and it took longer because my faith was so weak, but it eventually had the same effect: spiritual freedom.

    And the more I learn of God's grace, the freer and more empowered I continue to become. I basically had to learn that men fail, pastors fail, churches fail. But God never fails, and cannot fail. Praise be to His holy Name.

    All the theories - free will v. predestination, God's sovereignty v ours, and the like - they may have their place, but when you're on the spiritual killing floor it is not a time for man's meager rectilinear attempts to understand spiritual reality. It is time for the liberating presence of God, available through faith alone.

    One of God's names in Revelation is "Faithful and True", while the devil is a liar - and a defeated one at that. If you want to get out of the ditch, you need to identify the attack on your life as anti-Christ and align yourself with the truth of God. We don't fully understand why tests come and how long they need to last, but we know that God works ALL things for good for those who love Him. When we endorse that truth with all our hearts, peace floods in like a river of life, and we become willing to let God steer the ship, use the test to work His will in us, and get us out in His good time.

    Ps 40.1-5
     
  10. Macky92

    Macky92 Newbie

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    I really appreciate your post. It's good to hear that other people have experienced something similar to oneself. I can remember when this all first started. It had to do with people pushing me away from God. Telling me there was no God and making me feel like a fool for believing in him. I understand what you're saying about not trying to figure out the metaphysical reasoning and just work with faith.

    The thing is I've been praying with everything I have to regain a relationship with God. To have his presence reenter into my life, to experience his grace. But nothing is happening which makes me even more skeptical of the faith I had before. I truly do want to experience God again but nothing is really happening. There is nothing truly worse in life than losing the grace of life, because through that grace everything one experiences is bearable. I don't want to be an atheist or an agnostic. I do believe in an absolute reality but what more can I do to access it? When prayer does not work, where else can one go?
     
  11. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

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    The commonality in our two experiences is a loss of faith. There is only one reason God would allow a loss of faith: so that a greater faith could be established. This is what happened to the Apostles on the night Jesus was taken. They went through a brief, intense proto-typical DNOTS, but they came out far more empowered than previously. That is always God's intention.

    A greater faith mandates a purer faith. We can see this especially with Peter, who failed the Lord more dramatically than the rest. But look what happens. The Lord makes a special appearance to him alone after the resurrection (1Cor 15.5). I suspect Peter needed an intimate personal affirmation because he was so devastated by his failure. Those who fall and then return end up more intimate with the Lord than before. Then we are given a huge clue on the shore of the lake: Jesus asks Peter three times one simple question: do you love me? Not, will you work hard for me? Not, did you learn your lesson; are you with the program now, can I count on you? But simply, do you love me? Its a question of the heart, of placing God first no matter what we're experiencing.

    For me, one key was Rom 8.28. I kept on claiming this over and over:

    And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

    When I dared to begin to believe that, my perspective began to change. The situation hadn't changed yet, but now God was with me in it. My sin, my failure, my trial, my distance hadn't kept Him away. Other verses, like Jn 7.17, encouraged me to drive onward, knowing that there was a breakthrough ahead if I could just position myself for it. Php 3.3 reminded me to place no confidence in my own abilities, but to glory in Christ Jesus alone.

    The battle is the Lord's. We can't defeat this in our own strength. We have to go through God. And that is exactly the purpose of the trial.

    Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the lord, and he will exalt you. -jas 4:8-10

    James goes on to say that it is the prayer of faith that heals the sick. It's not a question of how miserable we can make ourselves, it's a question of reaching a point of faith. I would suggest feeding yourself on the message of grace. Dwell on Romans 8, and how invincible Christ's love for us is. Isaiah tells us NO weapon formed against us shall prosper. Return to the fundamentals of the faith.

    Jesus interceded for the apostles, that their faith would not fail. He's now in heaven, making effective intercession, indeed, for each of us. At the Last Supper He told His beloved to abide in His love and peace. Above all, return to that place. Guard your position of abiding, for dear life. The laboring you do in prayer essentially is to enter that rest.

    Know that Christ is the author – this whole thing is His idea – and finisher of our faith. He is not the man who started building a tower and then left off. In the end, no one gets to ridicule God. He is going to bring you home to glory, and there will be glory getting there. Don’t allow the devil to lie to you and steal your confidence, in which there is great reward (Heb 10).

    The essential thing is confidence toward God. The DNOTS is a direct assault against faith, and faith is the remedy. Faith will be your shield and the Word will be your sword (Eph 6). Exercise the faith that works through love, and no matter what is thrown at you, you already have the victory. The rest is just the mop-up, and you will see it with your own eyes.

    Ps 40.1-7
     
  12. Macky92

    Macky92 Newbie

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    Once again, I really appreciate your helpful posts. I'm not glad that you went through that, but I'm glad that I can gain perspective through your experience. You're completely right. It is a complete attack on our faith, and the only cure is faith itself. I will read those verses and hopefully this will turn out for the better. I have found the book of Job to also be pretty helpful. Who are we to question God? Thanks again for your help.