“[The Devil’s] cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our [God]'s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.”
Read that 10 times.
Think about it. God doesn’t want followers who robotically do whatever He orders. God doesn’t want people to give up their minds to follow Him.
See the thing is that anyone who has tried to find God has found that it isn’t exactly like finding your shoes under a pile of laundry. You don’t just move the things that are in the way in order to find God.
We are often tested. And we should expect it.
For example, when Jesus was baptized and publicly affirmed with an audible voice from God, the very next thing that happened was that the Holy Spirit drove Him into the desert to be tested.
Jesus didn’t get to ride a wave of emotions into God’s Kingdom… and neither do we.
The truth is that eventually we all will look around at life and not see a trace of Him. We will feel as if He has vanished. And we will feel as if He has forsaken us in our most critical moment of need. That moment is where we choose to freely seek God.
See there is always freedom in God’s Kingdom. And part of that freedom means that we can abandon ship.
However, critical piece is that the Devil’s cause is never more in danger when we have absolutely no evidence, reason or motive to continue to obey, but yet we still do. Conversely, when we choose to do that, we have never been closer to God’s cause.
No longer desiring. (Sound familiar?) Yet still intending to do God’s Will.
God wants us to learn this and, therefore, He must take away His apparent presence. At that point, if only the will to seek God is really there, He is pleased even with our stumbles.