Are you feeling far from God? Like something happened in your relationship with him and now you can’t even hear his voice? You no longer have an appetite for faith and you feel like you’re hanging on by a thread? If this is you, know that you are not alone. Most of us will go through this at some point in our lives.
But the good news is, there’s a solution. Perhaps you are reading this article because God is actively drawing you back to himself. While there are many possibilities to explain why you could be feeling far from God, I want to share four that I find most common. As you read each point, open your heart to hear from the Holy Spirit.
You’ve neglected prayer and the Word
Prayer and the Word are our means of communicating with God. This is how we speak to him and how he speaks to us. If you neglect your source of communicating with God, you may start to feel far from him. You may not always want to pray or read scripture, but do it anyway. This is your source of strength.
There’s sin in your life you need to confront
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.Psalm 66:18 ESV
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.Isaiah 59:2 ESV
Sin often causes us to feel far from God for a few reasons. When we sin, we often feel guilty and may unknowingly run from the presence of God. This is what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:10) Also, harboring iniquity in our hearts separates us from God. If we’re comfortable and content with doing something we know displeases God, it’s only a matter of time before we begin to feel far from him. But the good news is that Jesus is our advocate with the Father when we do sin (1 John 2:1). Sin doesn’t have to keep us from the presence of God. Instead, we can let the presence of God keep us from sin.
If you know that there’s sin in your life you’ve been ignoring, take a moment to confess it to God right now. Repent of it and receive the peace only God can give.
You are distracted by the things of the world
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life —is not from the Father but is from the world.1 John 2:15-16 ESV
Next, you may be feeling far from God because you are distracted by the things of the world. The world represents everything that stands against God’s truth. The thing is, the things of the world can seem harmless but eventually we can be so consumed by them that we no longer desire God.
Anything that makes us feel numb to the things of God is of the world. Sure, going out with friends or binge-watching Netflix may seem harmless. Those things are not inherently wrong. But, if you get to the point where you’d choose Netflix or going out over the prompting of the Holy Spirit to spend time with God, then you have a problem. So this isn’t to say that you should cut off anything that doesn’t involve church and the Bible. Instead, I’m saying, be careful not to let these good things distract you from the presence of God.
If you feel distracted, now may be a good time to do a fast. Fasting helps us to grow closer to God as we deny ourselves of things that we love to be close to him. Take a few days and fast from the things that are distracting you. It will make a huge difference.
No one in your inner circle is pursuing God
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.Proverbs 27:17 ESV
This is really important. Individually, we aren’t always strong and sometimes we’ll feel weak. We need people in our inner circle who are also pursuing God because when we are weak, they can point us back to God. If your friends can’t encourage you when you’re struggling, you need new friends.
The solution for this? Consider the friends in your inner circle. What do they stand for? What are their values? If you and your close friends are not headed in the same direction, they shouldn’t be your close friends.
What can you do?
Now that you know of these reasons why you could be feeling far from God, you may be asking, what should you do?
The first thing I’d suggest is seek God earnestly and don’t let up until something changes. We know that when we draw near to God, he draws near to us (James 4:8). Remember that God is always with you. He doesn’t leave your side even when you feel far from him. However, some of these things may be preventing you from connecting with him. Change what needs to be changed and rekindle that fire. Finally, set necessary boundaries for yourself. If you know what’s triggering you, set things in place so that you do not fall into temptation.
I’m praying for you that God would strengthen your relationship with him. If you’re feeling lost or far from him, I pray that you would get back to your first love. No matter what, don’t give up. If you’re struggling and would like someone to talk through this with, feel free to reach out to me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)