Have you ever felt like you’ve drifted away from God, or like you just weren’t as close as you were before? Or maybe you’ve never felt that close feeling, but you want to. What do you do when you feel far from God? Because being in that place can be discouraging. It sometimes feels impossible to get where you want to be. But thankfully, even when we’re spiritually stuck, God still cares and He promises to provide a way.
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”
James 4:8 (NLT)
Being a follower of Christ requires action. There is work that must be done on our part. God promises that if we draw near to Him, then He will also draw near to us. This summer, I found myself in a season where I wasn’t seeking God as I normally would. I was struggling with being consistent with spending time with Him. As a result, I didn’t feel His presence. Instead, I felt very distant. I had to choose between Him and the distractions that were pulling me away from Him. The purposeless relationships, the music, the “I’m too tired to read my Bible right now” all seemed convenient at the time.
And even though I was chasing after those temporary things that I wanted, there was still something missing. I wasn’t being fulfilled. It didn’t seem like I had that special grace and favor. And I felt sooo far from God. That’s because when God created us, He placed a void in our hearts that only He can fill.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”
John 15:4 (NLT)
How important is your relationship with God? I had to decide that I wanted to walk in purpose and in His will, more than temporary, worldly satisfaction. I knew that it wasn’t worth it to continue drifting farther away from God, especially when He can give me so much more, so much better. There’s a different type of contentment when you surrender to God and just trust Him.
Being close to God doesn’t happen by chance. It is a conscious decision that requires you to be intentional and faithful. If you were to stop eating, you would become malnourished. Your organs would shut down and your body would eventually go into shock. In the same way, if you don’t pursue God, your spiritual life will be malnourished. Just like any relationship, maintaining your relationship with God requires action. Complacency will not bring about growth.
What’s the risk you take when you decide not to be close to God? You make yourself vulnerable to attack. You lose that special covering; not because God doesn’t care about you, but because you’ve pushed Him aside and chosen to do things your own way. God has given each of us power over the enemy. He has given us what we need to stand firm in faith.
“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 NLT (Also read v. 13-18)
No matter how far you’ve drifted off or how difficult your circumstances seem, you can still come back to God. Pray and have a conversation with Him about where you are right now, about how you feel, and your desire to change direction. God never condemns us, and He isn’t mad at us for leaving.
Luke 15:11-32 tells the story of The Prodigal Son; a young man that left home, began making poor choices, spent all of the money he had inherited, and was now starving. He finally decided to come back home, and his father welcomed him with open, loving arms. The father even threw a celebration for the son, and gave him his best. Just as the forgiving father accepted his son with open arms, compassion and love, God is also calling you back to Him and waiting to embrace you with his love. After you’ve prayed about it, make the steps necessary to be intentional about your walk with God. Instead of trying to squeeze God into your schedule, make time for Him first. Spending time with God can include praying, studying your Bible, listening to worship music, etc. Don’t beat yourself up about your imperfections or mistakes; you won’t always get it right. But as long as God is first in your life, you can’t go wrong.
Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who are seeking God and growing spiritually. It’s a blessing to have Godly friends who encourage you, listen to you, keep you accountable and love to have fun! Pray that God will guard your heart and bless you with Godly friends and mentors that you can walk with in this journey, and who you can also be a blessing to.