1. He Wants to Keep Us Closer to Him.
Did you know that one can get so busy building a school that he is not as close to God as he should be? Brother Helton, you can get so busy as Registrar of the school that God will say, "I wish you would spend more time with Me. I wish you would get closer to Me. When you got saved, you didn't have all the things to do you have now. You used to spend more time with Me."
So God turns His face and Mr. Helton says, "Hey, Lord, where are you?"
The Lord says, "I'm not going to tell him where I am. I'm going to let him fret for awhile."
2. He Wants Us to Depend More on Him.
The Lord seemed to say, "I had to turn My back on you a bit to let you know that it is not the sermon that gets the job done; it's walking with Me and depending on Me."
3. He Wants to Make His Face Sweeter to Us.
The Lord sometimes turns His eyes from us. He hides His eyes and hides His face. Have you ever been to that place? I have. Oh, listen. I preached one time about six months ago when I was tired and weary and it seemed like there was so much to think about. I had dictated over a hundred letters that day. I had so many decisions to make, money to raise, bills to pay, property to buy and sell, things to approve, staff members to advise and help, and folks to counsel (I counseled about twenty people that day). I was so tired and weary. I went to preach, and oh, the freshness was gone. While I was preaching, I said, "Lord, where are the tears?" I tried to cry and couldn't. I went to my room and said, "Lord, I'm going to pray all night if I have to; I'm going to get the sweetness back! I must have the sweetness!"
The next morning I stood to speak. It came so easily. The tears came and the joy came. When I thought about Heaven, I wanted to shout. When I thought about hell, I wanted to weep. When I thought about the love of God, I wanted to clap my hands and praise the Lord. When I thought about sin, I wanted to fall on my face and confess. Oh, how sweet it is! How sweet is the face of Jesus!