I don’t know if you have ever read C.S. Lewis’ series, The Narnian Chronicles. If not, you need to grab it and immerse yourself in the wonderful series. Without a doubt, it is my favorite series of books to read. I do suggest that you read it yourself, first, before you read it to your kids. Through his allegory, Lewis has captured many fascinating aspects of our faith.
No, Lewis never told us what Jesus Christ is like; but he did show us what Aslan is like and allows us to take things from there on our own. Back in 1954, Lewis wrote a letter to a fifth-grade class and explained, “Let us suppose that there was a land like Narnia, and that the Son of God, as he became a Man in our world, became a Lion there, and then imagine what would happen.” What a fascinating thing to imagine!
Among other things, the series helped me realize that to find victory in our faith, we need to break free from the power of sin and embrace the power of my Father’s Spirit! All of which requires a tremendous amount of Grace!
Something else I noticed in the series, is how Aslan would show up at just about any time, and provide His counsel and assistance. Sometimes it was with a roar, sometimes it was with words that only one person could hear. Sometimes it was a silent presence that was only noticed later. Other times, he would appear, in order to correct someone or to comfort someone else.
To describe how the Lord works in my life, I often say “Aslan is on the move.” I say this during times when I can’t see the Lord, Himself, yet, but I can clearly see that He is at work! The first time you read that phrase in the “Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” is when the Beavers describe what is happening in the Land of Narnia:
None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different.
Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning — either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again.
It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in his inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realise that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.
This morning, I thought of Aslan and began to see how our Father often withdraws Himself. In doing so, He forces us out of our self-sufficiency and calls us to a deeper and closer walk with Him.
We can read about this in several places within Scripture, but most notably in Job’s story and the grandest allegory, the Song of Solomon. We also see in the Psalms when the Lord seemed silent. Here was David praying,
“My El, my El,
why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away from helping me,
so far away from the words of my groaning?
I cry out by day, but you do not answer—
also at night, but I find no rest” (Psalm 22:1-2).
“O Yahweh, I call to you.
O my rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me.
If you remain silent,
I will be like those who go into the pit” (Psalm 28:1).
During these periods, like Job, the young maiden, even good ol’ Abraham, we may not have a specific word from our God during the deep trial. In fact, it may seem that whichever way we move — forward, backward, to the left or to the right — we won’t be able to perceive a trace of our Father’s Presence or even His workings.
When our Lord withdraws from us, it may cause the bitterest pain; and I can tell you from personal experience, it will be useless trying to find Him. No agonizing in prayer or writhing in self-effort is going to compel Him to unveil His face. When He has hidden Himself in thick darkness, all we can do is rely on the promise He gave that He will never leave us. nor abandon us.
Even though it may be difficult, during this time, I encourage you to stand. As Paul encouraged us, “Having done all else, stand!” (Ephesians 6:13) Maintain your “tenacity of faith,” which assures you, in the face of outward circumstances, you are still in the hand of God!
It is said of Abraham that:
“When hope was dead within him, he went on hoping in faith . . . With undaunted faith . . . he refused to allow any distrust of a definite pronouncement of God to make him waver. He drew strength from his faith, and, while giving the glory to God, remained absolutely convinced that God was able to implement his own promise. This was the ‘faith’ which was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:18-22)
Your Father will communicate with you personally.
“I live in a high and holy place.
But I am with those who are crushed and humble.
I will renew the spirit of those who are humble
and the courage of those who are crushed” (Isaiah 57:15).
Choosing to believe that He wants to communicate with you will make the difference in your ability to hear Him. We are often the reason He is silent. In fact, we are often our worst enemy! If we try to listen for God’s voice while, at the same time, attempt to form our arguments with Him; asking Him to prove Himself before we will follow, or try to get Him to do what we want, He will remain silent. Yahweh is patient and is certainly able to work with you through your doubt. But you will only truly hear Him when your heart is open, and sincerely seeking to understand. As the Prophet Isaiah stated:
If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the best from the land.
But if you refuse and rebel,
you will be destroyed by swords.”
Yahweh has spoken (Isaiah 1:19-20)
Instead, we need to be like Samuel:
Yahweh came and stood there. He called as he had called the other times: “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak. I’m listening” (I Samuel 3:10)
You will finally hear Him when the other voices in your world have become silent and your heart and mind are at rest:
“After the earthquake, there was a fire. But Yahweh wasn’t in the fire. And after the fire there was a quiet, whispering voice” (I Kings 19:12).
“Let go of your concerns!
Then you will know that I am Elohim.
I rule the nations.
I rule the earth” (Psalm 46:10).
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.