One of the most popular questions I receive as a Pastor center around wanting to feel and experience God in a closer way. How do we remove the distance, feel more connected, and live with a greater sense of nearness to God in our faith journey?
Yesterday in my message entitled "Why", I got at some of the reasons that we may feel far for God. Next week we will talk more about what we can do to restore closeness.
A few thoughts from yesterday:
- You are not as close to God as you could be. You will never be as long as you are on this earth (uninterrupted intimacy is reserved for glory). So, keep pressing in. There is a lot more of God that you have not met yet!
- If you feel far from God, I want to promise you that it is not his fault!
So, why might we go through times when we feel far from God? Here are some possibilities:
- Maybe you are over-sensationalizing the faith journey. Did someone tell you that it would be a breeze? Did someone convince you that it would be constant frills, miracles and joy? If so, they mislead you. In fact, II Timothy 3:12 says this; "Everyone that wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." Is that clear enough? Take a look to see if your expectations of walking in faith may need tweaked a bit.
- Maybe your heart has become hard. Before you tune that possibility out, I want to remind you that people's hearts become hardened easily when prayers go unanswered, leaders let you down, following what you thought God was saying totally fails on you or when you face repeated loss, pain and struggle. A hard heart can form easier than you think and cause distance between you and your heavenly Father. Click here to read the profound words of Matthew 13:14-15!
- Maybe you are lacking obedience somewhere in your life and it is causing a wall between you and God. Listen to these words of John 14: 21; "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." Obey. And he will reveal himself. Disobey. And you will be missing out.
- Perhaps you have built a wall of sin. The definition of sin is separation from God. Scripture says it best in Isaiah 59:2 when the prophet states, "...your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear."
As I preached yesterday I literally built a brick wall between me and the congregation illustrating the impact of separation.
The good news is that we do not have to stay distant from the Lord. There is hope! You can feel close again! We will look at how to take the wall down...this Sunday at 10:30am!