Saturday, January 29, 2011

Feeling Close To God

 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?   I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.  Jeremiah 17:7-10

I've been reading so many comments on Facebook, and other blogs lately about not "feeling" close to God.  I've even received e-mails from people asking me to pray for them because they don't feel like they once did in their Christian walk.  Although I don't pretend to be an expert on this particular subject, I've certainly had my moments when I've "felt" the same way.

If we have sin in our life it's like there is a impenetrable force field between us and God, luckily forgiveness is only a prayer away.  Barring unforgiven sin however, there are times in our life when emotionally we don't feel as "connected" to God, and that's OK.  I'll say it again, it's OK! You're not broken, it's just a part of our normal fallible human emotions.   Our hearts are inherently wicked, our emotions are deceitful, we can't trust them. 

Our trust must be placed in the Lord, not our emotions.  When our hope and our faith is in the Lord we will be like a tree planted by the waters, we're not going to be moved by the storms of life and we won't "cease from yielding fruit" if we are trusting in God.

Although it's easy to say this, but when we pick up God's scriptures and he feels distant it's sometimes hard to believe.  Luckily my relationship with God has nothing to do with how I feel on a day to day basis, I can still serve him in the valley or on the mountain top.  If I depended on my emotions I would probably never read my Bible, go to church, or pray.  I do these things because they are the right thing to do not because I want to do them, or even do them because they make me feel good.  God's word tells me to do these things, my trust is in him therefore I do them.

I am so glad my salvation has nothing to do with how I feel.  If it did I would be questioning it often.

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

If we have accepted Christ in our hearts, if we believe that He died for our sins, and was raised from the dead, then we're saved.  The Bible doesn't say that we're only saved if we feel like we're saved, the Bible says if we call upon the name of the Lord we're saved.  There are no clauses that say we're going to feel like we're madly in love with God every day, or filled with a burning desire to serve him with all of our beings.

I deeply love my husband, but there are days when my emotions make this feeling almost non-existent.  (Engaged couples and newly weds pay attention)  That's OK, it's normal!  If everyone who was in love  always had that iggy snookie muffin feeling then none of us would ever get anything accomplished and we'd still be living in little huts without any technology.  My love is a choice, my love is an action.  Making his lunch, making our bed, writing a note, kissing him when he gets home, making his favorite meal; even when I don't particularly feel "in love" these are all ways that I love my husband.  I do these things because I know love is not an emotion it's a daily choice.

The same is with our relationship with God.  Even if we don't feel grateful, in awe of His majesty, thankful for His salvation, in Love with our creator, or burdened to serve; we can still show these things (and should) through our actions. 

We can still show our thanks through prayer even if we don't feel grateful, scriptures tell us to be thankful in all things, therefore we should do this even when we don't feel like it. We can sing hymns praising God for His greatness and salvation, even if our hearts feel burdened.  We can choose to serve and do what God asks us to even if we don't feel particularly close to Him.

We can rest assured in the knowledge of God's Word that we are saved if we have Christ in our heart, the only problem is once we're saved we still war with our flesh.  If God removed all human emotions the moment we came to know Him then things might be different.  God however does not do this we're left to struggle with our feelings and we must choose to serve God even when we don't necessarily feel like it.  Everyone goes through this.  It is our choices that define us in these moments, and our trust in God that will keep us stable.

If this post has been a blessing to you be sure to share it with others on Facebook or Twitter.  I think a lot of other Christians need to hear this particular message.