A few weeks ago I saw this quote on Facebook: “If you are not as close to God as you used to be, who moved?” Ouch! When we can’t feel God’s presence in our lives, that quote is two things to us: painful and wise.
Once you enter a relationship with God, He doesn’t leave. He is completely faithful. God loves you as though you’re the only person on earth.
We humans, however, are not completely faithful. We place people and things above our relationship with God all the time. We don’t mean to put things ahead of God, but it still happens. The video below shows how worldly cares can affect our relationship with God.
Some of the things that get in the way of feeling God’s presence include relationships, jobs and money, becoming preoccupied with external appearance and leisure activities. When we consistently put off spending time with God because of other things, then we are telling God that those other things are more important and we place distance between us and God.
Here are a few tips for coping in times like this!
- Don’t panic! Just because you can’t feel God doesn’t mean He has left you or is angry with you.
- Pray a prayer based on Psalm 139:23-24.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
- Repent for any behaviors, thoughts, or actions God shows you once you’ve prayed.
- Spend some time reading what the Bible says about your identity in Christ. This will help you reaffirm what God thinks about you and how He sees you.
- Decide to choose to believe God’s word even though you can’t feel His presence.
- Commit to change. If you used to read a chapter in your Bible every day but have since stopped, commit to reading your Bible again and change whatever you have to in order to make the time.
- Be persistent! If you pray five times and still don’t feel God’s presence, then pray and read your Bible until you do feel His presence again.
Of all these tips, I think one of the most important is persistence. If we just shoot off a single prayer to God about how we can’t feel Him anymore and wait for Him to make the next move, how important do you think that makes God feel? Probably not very important.
When I want something, I talk about it a lot; I keep whatever it is in the front of my mind and the minds of others close to me until I get it. The same goes for feeling God’s presence. If you really want to feel God’s presence then you need to petition Him about it non-stop. God wants to know He is important to you–after all, He sent His only Son to show how important you are to Him.
What do you do when you can’t feel God’s presence?
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit (Psalm 51:10-12).