3 steps to take when you dont feel close to God at JulianaGordon.com on a yellow background

3 steps to take when you don’t feel close to God

Over the summer, the temperatures around here easily pass 110 more than a handful of days. In this desert, drinking the right amount of water, staying out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day, and wearing the right types of sun protection can make or break you for the day. Without preparation, it’s easy enough to end up dehydrated, which can have serious consequences.

And more than a handful of times, I have found myself feeling spiritually dry, wondering about why I feel far from the Lord. Sometimes it’s during a crisis; other times, it’s in the middle of the everyday. Either way, I question myself and sometimes God to figure out what is going on and how I can feel close again. I cry with the psalmist from Psalm 42:1 ESV, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.”

When I have found myself in that state, I find it helpful to consider these steps.

  1. Ask God for help. An obvious step, right? But sometimes we are reluctant to go to Him, figuring that we have messed up in some way. And maybe we have. An apparent sin should be confessed, of course. But sometimes it is neglect and misplaced priorities and coasting that adds up to an untended Christian life. Confess that to God, too. Our gracious Lord forgives our sins. He longs to be close to you and will empower us in our Christian life. “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3 NIV
  2. Recall what has worked in the past. Did you used to have healthy habits that would encourage you in your walk with God? I find sometimes at the end of reading a months-long devotional, or  following a Bible reading plan, or some other commitment, that I flounder for at least a few days. I often remind myself that I do better with some sort of structure because of my personality; you know what works for you. Be open to change, but also return to habits that help you.
  3. Remember that these are feelings at one point in time. Our feelings can overwhelm us, can’t they? I don’t picture myself a dramatic person, but sometimes a melancholy thought makes me feel like I will ALWAYS feel this way. Honestly, that’s NEVER true. Sometimes I have felt spiritually far away from God, but God used it to remind me to not rely on my feelings! Other times, He has used it to correct me in other areas. But sometimes, it is just me overthinking and not talking to God about it. Proverbs 3:5 urges us not to lean on our own understanding. Trust in the truth found in God’s Word.

Dear friend, I pray this prayer for you right now:

Lord, You know why we sometimes feel far from You. I pray that You would provide correction when it is needed; that You would remind us of Your faithfulness and Your grace; and that You would ground us in Your Word. We love you! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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