“The Wall represents our will meeting God’s will face to face. We decide anew whether we are willing to surrender and let God direct our lives.”- Janet Hagberg and Robert Guerlich, The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith (2005)
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”- James 4:7 (NIV)
In Chapter 6 (“Transition Through the Wall”) of Journey of the Soul, Bill Gaultiere compares The Wall to a never-ending desert. There, we offer others the living waters of God’s love. But we find ourselves living off the splashback of their appreciation of our blessing. Because we can’t drink enough splashes, our soul dries up.
As a result, our doubt, isolation, and spiritual dryness seem to block our way to God. Hence, we need to keep renewing our hope that our Good Shepherd is leading us through our dark trough of desolation.
In addition, this pivotal test of The Wall occurs in the middle of the CHRIST stages. However, this is not a stage, but a transition season. So, at this juncture, we face two choices:
- Deny our stress and stay busy at the R Stage.
- Process our pain and questions to develop a deeper, more authentic faith in the I Stage.
Above all, in the C, H, and R Stages, we practiced spiritual disciplines and worked hard to serve the Lord. But now, at The Wall, these steps fail to work. Here, when you try harder, you get stuck. Furthermore, dryness, disorientation, and pain relentlessly pressure you to turn around on the CHRIST path. To head back to the familiar territory of the first three stages.
In conclusion, Bill likens our situation at The Wall to the Chinese word for crisis. That word combines the characters for ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity.’ The great danger consists of Satanic attacks that may derail your trust in God. In contrast, Bill describes the opportunity:
“If you keep verbalizing your faith struggles, submitting your will to God, and resisting the deceiver, then you will eventually break free and find that God is near (James 4:7-8).”
Today’s question: When have you hit The Wall? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “To walk along your wall and praise God”