One of my favorite hymns is Come Though Fount of Every Blessing by Robert Robinson. The words “Prone to wander Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above,” got to me the moment I heard them after becoming a Christian. To be completely honest, I was instantly filled with fear. Will I fall away from this amazing relationship I have with God? Will I wander and turn back to my old ways? I was in tears at the thought. Thankfully all throughout scripture there are examples of God constantly pursuing us… He never lets us get far. In Psalm 119:10, David writes “With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments.”
While I realize now that there is nothing that can be done that will take me away from my faith in God, there are some days I struggle with feeling close to Him. There are days I feel so close and on fire for Him and other days I feel like He’s not even with me at all. Isaiah 41:10 has been one of my favorite scriptures of all time. It says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” If God is always with us, then why does He sometimes feel so distant? Well, if it’s not Him – it’s gotta be me!
When I am feeling like my relationship with God is suffering – I look at the things going on in my life then ask myself these questions: 1. How is my quiet time with God going? Am I spending quality time with Him daily or just giving Him my leftovers. 2. Going along with number one, am I putting God FIRST in my life? Or are things like my husband, kids, or self getting in the way? 3. Is there a sin that is separating me from God? Unconfessed sin is a quick way to distance yourself from God. Ask the Holy Spirit to help reveal anything you may be missing or avoiding in this area. 4. What worldly things am I allowing to influence my life? Maybe you have a great quiet time with God in the morning, then in the evening you wind down with slasher movies and not-so-classy magazines.
Not that long ago I was facing a situation where I wasn’t feeling close to God. I was regularly attending church, Life Group, having my quiet time with God, but still not feeling His presence in my personal life. I prayed about it constantly, asking Him to help me grow close to Him again and asking Him what I should be doing differently in my life. During this period of my life, my “guilty pleasure” was reading Young Adult supernatural romance books (vampires, witches, other random creatures). The Holy Spirit worked on my heart and convicted me that this wasn’t the best hobby, so I switched to Christian Fiction only as my form of entertainment. Since changing my reading genre, my relationship with God got extremely better. I have even gotten to the point where I won’t watch rated R movies. I am not saying this is for everyone, as the Holy Spirit convicts each of us differently, I have just found these things were separating me from God.
God wants to be near to us and He will never truly leave us. We just need to take the time to accept His love and draw our attention to Him.
Discussion: What questions do you ask yourself when you are not feeling close to God? Do you have a similar story to share? I’d love to hear from you, feel free to comment below.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray the words of Psalm 119:10 “With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments.” I want to be close to You, Lord. I want to feel You near me and have a relationship with you. Help lead me back to Your path and Your ways when I start to wander. Have Your Holy Spirit convict me of anything I need to remove from my life to be closer to You. Thank you in advance, Amen!