Practical, Spiritual Solutions for Those Times You Feel Far From God

by | Sep 3, 2019 | Woman

God created you and me for intimacy with Himself. Intimacy with God is possible! But that feeling of being close to God may often seem to last about as long as a summer thunderstorm—refreshing and powerful, but short-lived. So what do you do when you feel distant from God?

As integrated human beings, our intellect and our feelings are both important. Serious study of biblical truth is life-changing, but if devoid of emotionally-enriching experience, it can become dry and empty. Spirit-infused times of being overwhelmed with the presence of God are also life-changing, but without Scripture and solid truth as a foundation, the house of one’s life will collapse.

Being a disciple of Jesus is not an intellectual agreement with a set of principles. It is also not an unending emotional feeling. Your salvation, your standing with God, your connection with Jesus, is not an intellectual mind game nor an unpredictable emotional roller-coaster.

Perhaps that’s one reason marriage is such an important object lesson of our relationship with God. Relationship is so much more than “statements of truth.” And feelings come and go. A covenant-level commitment is the only thing strong enough to last through the ups and downs.

So how does that relate to times when you feel distant from God?

Feelings provide immensely valuable information, but they comprise a very poor and dangerous guide. Feelings are real, but they are not the whole truth.

Feeling distant from God is an invitation to pause and look deeper, but that feeling is not the whole truth. Look for the rest of the truth.

Survey Questions to Ask

From Scripture and from the experience of believers through the centuries, we know many things that can impact your experience of the presence of God. If He seems distant, it’s useful to survey your life for the areas we know may be a factor. Here are just a few possibilities.

  1. Physical lifestyle. Are you physically tired? A good night’s sleep may greatly change your outlook on life – and God. Is your brain sluggish from no exercise or a sugary meal full of processed food? A walk outdoors or a protein-and-veggies meal may significantly change things.
  2. Known sin. Has the Holy Spirit been putting His finger on something in your life and asking you to let Him change you there? Have you been resisting? Continuing in rebellion against what the Spirit wants to do will eventually send Him away. This is not about perfection! It’s about agreeing with Him and cooperating with Him in changing you. It’s about continuing to take one step forward.
  3. Momentary troubles. Your troubles may seem anything but momentary. But in the light of eternity, they are (2 Cor. 4:17). Don’t mistake troubles as evidence that God is not with you. Could your experience simply be the “common” experience of people living in this messed-up world? (1 Pet. 5:9).
  4. Time to grow. If they want to win, an athlete stretches his/her abilities every time they practice. Candidates for special forces units, such as the U.S. Navy SEALs, train in the most extreme conditions possible. God created you to fill a unique role in His kingdom; is this a period of training and growth?

If one of these questions, or another the Spirit brings to mind, resonates with you, pay attention. Get that sleep. Repent of sin if needed. Choose to get up again and do that training exercise. Seeing feelings as information can help guide you in seeing the next step to take.

Behind Enemy Lines

We still live in a world at war between the kingdom of God and Satan’s kingdom of darkness. We get caught in the crossfire.

Our government sends its most elite soldiers into the most dangerous circumstances behind enemy lines. They are trusted to know what to do even if communication lines get disrupted.

God may be trusting you behind enemy lines. Early in our Christian walk, the special feelings and other goodies of relationship with God are often plentiful and exciting. But when God trusts you enough to use you, the feelings and emotional sense of connection may not be the same.

Can God trust you to remain faithful even if you don’t see or hear Him as you’re used to?

Keep Coming Back

Regardless of the reasons for feeling distant, keep coming back into His presence. That may look like:

  • Praying with “loud cries and tears” as Jesus did when He was here (Heb. 5:7).
  • Reading Scripture.
  • Waiting in silence to hear God’s voice.
  • Reviewing how God has dealt with you in the past. (A journal can be of great help here.)
  • Being with other believers who are seeking God.

Ask Jesus to interpret the situation for you. And get quiet long enough for Him to answer.

And most of all, keep doing the last thing God told you to do until He tells you differently. That’s what faithfulness is all about.

Your Turn: Have you been feeling distant from God? Which of these questions resonates most with you? Leave a comment below. {eoa}

Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley is both a board-certified OB-GYN physician and an ordained doctor of ministry. As an author and speaker, she loves helping people discover the Fully Alive kind of life Jesus came to bring us. Visit her website at drcarolministries.com.

This article originally appeared at drcarolministries.com.

For more on developing intimacy with God, listen to the podcasts included with this article.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder...
Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]