When You Feel Far From God

Jesus said: ‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ (John 14:20, NIV).

Do you ever feel far away from God, or that He is far away from you? If you’re like most people, then I bet the answer is yes. So let’s take a look at those “feelings.”

You are a triune being with a body, soul and spirit. Within your soul you have a mind, will, and emotions. That’s where those “feelings come from.” And if you are like most people, sometimes you feel closer to God than other times. But are you? Really?

Sometimes I feel closer to my husband than others times. But that doesn’t mean I’m any less married at some times more than others. I usually feel closer to him after we’ve enjoyed a fun time together, been especially intimate, or gone through a struggle where we’ve locked arms and walked through the struggle together.

It’s not that much different in my relationship with God. I mightfeel closer to Him when we’ve had a good time together (as in worship service), been especially intimate spiritually (as in a morning quiet time), or gone through a struggle where we’ve locked arms and walked through the difficulty together (as in mourning the death of a loved one).

But just because I feel closer to God in a particular moment doesn’t mean that I am. It is just a feeling. We know that we cannot have that giddy feeling about our spouse all the time. Then why do we think we have to have that with God?

Paul prayed for the Ephesians that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ would give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that they could know him better …that they might know the hope to which he had called them…(Ephesians 1:17-19). He prayed for the Colossians that they would know the mystery of God, namely, Christ in whom are hidden all the treasure of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-3). He (Paul)[tweetherder][/tweetherder] did not pray that they would feel like they were close to God or feel the love of God. He prayed that they would know it.

Specifically, Paul prayed:
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. (How? Through faith. In your “knower”). And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know his love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-19 emphasis added).

Why do we experience times when we feel far from God? How can we feel far from God if His Holy Spirit lives in us? If you are in Christ and He is in you (John 14:20), why don’t you feel Him at all times? Can you feel distant from your liver, from your kidney or from your pancreas? Being near to God, or ratherfeeling near to God is not a matter of proximity, as if one of us moved closer or further away. It is not a matter of a physical position, but it is a matter of our relational acuity. It is a spiritual receptivity, a spiritual awareness, and a spiritual acknowledgement of His presence.

Charles Spurgeon once said: “It may be that there are saints who are always at their best, and are happy enough never to lose the light of their Father’s countenance. I am not sure that there are such persons…and I have not traversed that happy land. Every year of my life has had a winter as well as a summer, and every single day has its night…I confess that though the substance be in us, as in the tell-tree and the oak, yet we do lose our leaves, and the sap within us does not flow with equal vigor at all seasons.”

[tweetherder][/tweetherder]God has promised He will never leave us, but we can feel far from Him when we ignore Him, live independently from Him, grow dissimilar from Him, or rush about expecting Him to tag along rather than move in union with Him.

So here’s what I want you to do today, stand on what youknow. “On that day,” Jesus said, “You will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:20NIV). And friend, you can’t get much closer than that.

And while your humanness falters between spiritual times of plenty and times of want, communion with God is always just a whisper away as you acknowledge His presence with you and in you.

Let’s Pray
Dear LORD, I’ll admit, sometimes I feel far from You. But today, I am not going to be a woman who is lead by her feelings. I am going to be a woman who stands on the truth of Your Word. I am in Jesus. He is in me. And we are both in You. Hallelujah.
In Jesus’ Name,

What do you think? 
One of the best ways I know to reconnect with God when I feel disconnected is to listen to some great praise and worship music. So click over to www.youtube.com/gwensmithmusic and listen to my favorite recording artist!

After listening to Gwen’s music, leave a comment here or my Facebook pagewww.facebook.com/sharonjaynes and tell me your favorite GwenSmith song. (Mine is Broken into Beautiful. And then there’s All Generations. Oh, and Uncluttered. I’m having a hard time choosing one. Maybe you’ll have an easier time. Good luck!)

Want More?
Today’s devotion was an excerpt from my new book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Something More. Check it out on www.localhost/sjold/a-sudden-glory/

10 Responses to When You Feel Far From God

  1. TelFelz September 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    Wow, Thank you! I needed to hear this today:-)

  2. Kelley September 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    I am married and I have friends. And some are very good friends. You would never think that I, many times, “feel” alone. Even this very morning it felt that way again. I could only thank God that without HIM…I really WOULD be alone! Our “feelings” are fickle…But Jesus is solid ground. I am MORE than just this Feeeeeeeeeeling. I am more than this mortal body. I am just stuck in here for a breath of time. And I do know Jesus LOVES me. I stand on God’s Truth. Amen.

  3. Anna September 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    I could not get the website you referred me to listen to GwenSmith music. I did get a Gwen Songs and listened to her sing ‘Hold On’ and it was exactly what I needed to hear today. God continues to work in my life and I want to thank you for your time and effort for the work you do so we can enjoy your words and share with you. Praise God..Anna

  4. Anna September 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    Sharon. I came back to your page and clicked on the Gwen’s songs again and it went through!!! I listened to all three of the songs you mentioned in the above readings and I, too liked them all. The uncluttered is the one I really needed to hear as that is what I am in the process of doing. I am in my 80s and trying very hard to not leave more than I need to for my granddaughter to have to clear out. She lives in Oklahoma and I live in California and she will come to me when I pass on to heaven. So, I have been listening to Gwen’s testimony and really relating and enjoying the past hour of listening and being with God. Thank you very much for being there to lead me to more interesting and fullfilling readings and music. Blessings, Anna

  5. sandy keil September 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    I love the way God weaves His Word altogether! My Women’s Bible Study examined that same Ephesian’s verse on wed. nite. How overwhelming it is to hear the depth of His love for us

  6. Marie Krum September 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    Dear Sharon, Having heard of the astounding response to your presentation of the Word at Hawthorne Gospel Church, I began following your blog. This one has blessed me profoundly. As one of God’s chosen recipients of Social Security my finances are severely restricted yet since following your excerpts from “A Sudden Glory” I’ve invested in your book. Today’s blog once again convinces me the dividends from the sale will be eternal. Thank you.

  7. Caroline September 27, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Hi Sharon, what you said in your blog about not feeling close to God…we feel that way when we haven’t come to Him in a while. Today after lunch I had a decision to make: to continue to clean up my garden and yard in preparation for winter, or spend time with the Lord. My flesh was arguing with my spirit, and I’m learning to ignore what my flesh wants and actually run the opposite way of what my flesh wants. There is nothing lost in continuing with my yard tomorrow instead of today, whereas there is a whole lot lost if I give my time away to something else rather than learning more about him in Bible study and/or being changed little by little to be more like him through prayer. Thinking back, I’m so grateful for the time I’ve spent with the Lord, because the Lord has made many of his holy deposits in me and there is nothing I’d rather have in my heart than the Lords presence and leading in my life. Tomorrow morning, I’ll have more of the Lord in me while doing yard work than I would have if I’d not spent that quality time with him today. I feel close to God because I come to him everyday, and this is a disciplining process for me, something the Lord is teaching me.

  8. Jenna October 1, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    I read today’s devo: Decompartmentalizing our quiet time.. and I just want to say I did it. And it was fun. 🙂

  9. Lora October 1, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    Thank you for being such a godly reminder! I love Girlfriends in God – and I read it and pass it on to a group of sisters in Christ. We are in a new Bible study that is exciting, it connects us to the community in new ways with open hearts. You too are an awesome sister in Christ and I am grateful for your work/service/walk.

  10. Lillie October 2, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    God Bless You! I prayed this prayer for myself because I fel I needed it. I began praying for family members, and specific friends and felt lead to pray for our President,, Governor and Mayor.

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