Do you ever feel so far away from God, like you're on opposite sides of the world and you just can't get to Him? Do you ever feel like life just keeps hammering you to the ground and you're too weak to look for God? Does your life feel empty?
Man, I've been there probably more than I care to admit, honestly.
First of all, it's important to understand that these feelings happen to both believers and nonbelievers. If you believe in Christ and still feel this at times, listen to me. It's okay. It happens to everyone, because we are broken people living in a broken world.
That being said, if you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, are still wondering about this whole God thing (that's totally okay, too!), or if you're just not quite sure, please visit this page. Hopefully, it will answer some of your questions. By the way, I am a firm believer that it is completely okay to ask questions, and I believe that's what God wants, too. So if you have questions, don't be afraid to ask them! There will be no hate from me, I promise!
Now, if you are a Christian and need a little help in your faith, this is for you.
Okay, before I start, I need you to understand something.
Our emotions are fickle things, and even when we don't feel close to God, He is always close to us. He never leaves us or moves further away. It's just our feelings.
Okay, now we can start.
We are all going to feel far from God at some point in our lives. That's just the ugly truth, and we have to face it. However, it is key in our walk with God to understand what causes us to feel so far away.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you can't feel God's presence.
1.) Do I have any unconfessed sin?
Sin separates us from God. God is perfect and sin is, well, not. Obviously, imperfection cannot be near perfection, which is why when we sin, we feel far from God.
It's important to note that once we have accepted Christ as our Savior, sin cannot affect our salvation. BUT it can and will stunt our spiritual growth and affect our emotions.
2.) Is there anything or anyone that I desire more than God?
Is there anything or anyone that you love more than God? Is there something that you don't want to give up, but you know is wrong?
This goes along with the unconfessed sin. Idolatry is nooooo bueno to God, and He has no patience for it. In the same way, it's no bueno for us, either. It's bad for our souls, and it affects our relationship with God.
3.) Am I actively seeking God?
Are you actively praying and digging into the Word everyday? To be close to God, you have to actually go to Him. To have an authentic relationship with Him, you actually have to build the relationship.
4.) Am I taking the time to feel His presence?
Do you take time out of your day to just sit quietly? To still your heart and mind and soak up the love of God? Do you take the time to simply relax in your Father's arms?
5.) Is there someone that I refuse to forgive?
When we refuse to forgive someone, that is a sin. And as we learned in #1, sin puts a gap between God and ourselves.
6.) Do I have a good community of Jesus-lovers?
God created us as relational creatures to be able to build each other up. The people around us influence us. When we hang with the wrong crowd, we start doing wrong things. Likewise, when we have relationships with God-fearing people, we start to fear God. Which, in turn, moves us closer to God.
7.) Am I paying too much attention to what people think of me?
Sometimes we pay too much attention to what other's think instead of what God thinks. We ignore His truth for others' lies, and then we feel far from God. Make sure that you are listening to God and believe what God says instead of what the world says.
8.) Am I paying attention to my physical, emotional, and mental health?
Everything works together. Our emotions affect our bodies and spirits, and our bodes affect our minds and spirits, etc. Basically, taking care of your body, heart, and mind are super important to keeping your spiritual life intact.
9.) Am I worshiping God or complaining to God?
Worshiping God sets our mind on Him, not ourselves. It brings us closer to Him. When we complain, we are focusing on ourselves, and not seeking God. Therefore, we will not be able to feel Him as closely.
This post may also be of some help.
10.) Am I shaming myself or believing that grace isn't enough?
When we shame ourselves for our sins, we are directly telling God that He is a liar, that we don't trust Him, and that grace wasn't enough. That is nooooo bueno. When we believe this, WE start moving away from God because we no longer trust in His sovereignty. So don't do it.
11.) Have I dumped all of my emotions and worries on God?
Now, this sounds like it's a bad thing, but it's really not. God wants us to tell Him everything about our lives, the good and the bad. He wants to know how we feel and what we think. He wants to be involved. And when we involve Him in our lives, He shows up big time.
One thing to remember is that, no matter how we may feel, God will never leave us. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Remember when you felt super close to God on that spiritual high? Yeah, well, He hasn't changed. He hasn't left. He still loves you. He's still full of grace.
And He's calling you home.