It’s a terrible feeling; to feel that you’re not progressing in your relationship with God. There have been times when I sought Him, but he felt far from me. I long to continuously grow in my relationship with God, but sometimes it’s like I hit a road block. I grow frustrated, with Him and myself. If you’ve felt this way too, know you’re not alone.
I don’t have a magic answer as to why or how you got here (only God knows - literally). The following are only a few possible reasons you may feel disconnected from God:
You may be in a wilderness season that feels isolating
It could be that you’ve become busy and unintentionally put God on the back-burner. He is no longer your first priority
Perhaps you are (or have been) pursuing sin instead of God. Nothing can separate us from God’s love, but sin separates us from Him relationally (If you’ve been intentionally pursuing sin instead of God, the first thing you need to do is repent and ask for His forgiveness).
The only way to know for sure is to ask God. Now, I know you may be thinking, “If I knew the reason I wouldn’t be reading this article!” Hear me out! Just because you don’t feel His presence doesn’t mean He’s far from you, and just because you aren’t hearing Him doesn’t mean He isn’t speaking. He’s always speaking to us. Often the reason we feel disconnected has more to do with us than with God.
We won’t feel connected to God if we don’t spend time with Him daily. Relationships have to maintained and invested in, otherwise the intimacy will fade. The last time I felt distant from God the Holy Spirit revealed to me some of the reasons why. Though I have not mastered them by any means, addressing each one has helped me connect with God on a deeper level. Take some time to reflect on the questions below, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth about to you.
Do You Ask for His Hand More Than You Ask for His Heart?
When you pray, is most of your time spent asking for things you need or want? I’m not saying it’s wrong to ask God for things because you definitely should. We are called to do that. However, we should also desire and ask to become more like Him, and not solely receive from Him. When we ask for things more than we ask for God’s heart, we miss the opportunity to grow in the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Often we want deliverance without growing in discipline. We want the victory without having to make sacrifices. God desires to bless you, but He greatly desires to develop you into the likeness of Christ.
How Much Time Do Leave For God to Respond?
Prayer is a conversation, and like any conversation it requires talking and listening. We make time to present our requests in prayer, but we also have to make time to be still and listen. Just because we can’t see God in front of us doesn’t mean we should leave the conversation as soon as we are done speaking. Maybe God has been trying to tell you something but you say, “Amen” and move on to the next item on your agenda before He can get a word in.
I know it can be challenging to quiet your self and listen, but it’s even harder to go through this life without God’s guidance. After you’ve prayed take time to be still, meditate on His Word, and wait for His response. Your flesh won’t like it, and it will try to distract you, but don’t let it. Remove any distractions and press in.
Do You Know Him or Just About Him?
Whether you are new in the faith or decades in, you have to have a fervent desire to know God personally. It’s not enough to rely on second hand knowledge (i.e. social media posts, Sunday sermons, Christian books, etc…) to sustain your faith. Those are things should be used to support your faith, but not to build a foundation.
Would you try get to know your spouse by talking to their friends more than you talk to them? Then why would you do it with God? Other people can give us insight into a part of God’s character, but they cannot give us exact insight into what He wants to do through us and for us. We have to talk to Him to know that. We have to experience his faithfulness, compassion, perfect timing, and provision for our selves. That’s how we progress from simply knowing to truly believing.
Is God Truly Your Priority?
Often, we’ll miss our quiet time with God before we miss a workout, a TV show premier, or cancel a date. What does that say about our priorities? We may feel like we aren’t growing in God, but maybe it’s because we’re too busy pursuing everything except Him. Look at your life and ask God to reveal anything you value more than Him. Those are idols. Once He reveals them to you, ask Him to help you dethrone those idols and increase your desire for Him.
Let us be intentional with our time and careful not to put anything above God in our life. We may say we don’t have time, but in reality we make time for what’s important to us.
Do You Fear His leadership?
We become stagnant in our walk with God when we stop following His will. I get it, faith can be scary because you can’t see what’s next, but that’s why you have to intimately know the one you’re trusting in. If you don’t, you will fear His leadership and believe He’ll lead you down a wrong path. If you fear surrendering everything to God, tell Him and ask him to show you His character. He’s a good and loving Father. Once you know Him you’ll be able to follow Him without fear. His will isn’t always easy, but it is good and perfect (Romans 12:2). Know that if He asks you to do it, He will sustain you through it.
I pray reflecting on these questions helps you gain insight and re-connect with God. Intimacy takes time, but scripture promises that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). God desires that nothing would come between you and Him. Fight for your relationship with Him, It’s the most important one you’ll ever have.
All my love,