Day 14: When God Seems Distant

God is real, no matter how you feel.

I love that! We all know how it feels when God is distant and we’re frantically trying to work out what we did wrong to turn His face away. At least, I know how it feels! I’m always so quick to blame that time I snapped at the kids or said too much about someone else’s private business. Isaiah 8:17 says; The Lord has hidden Himself from His people, but I trust Him and place my hope in Him. This chapter is brilliant! The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of paint, thanking God during a trial, trusting Him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving Him when He seems distant…

In your friendship with God, you won’t always feel close to Him. Philip Yancey has wisely noted, “Any relationship involves times of closeness and times of distance, and in a relationship with God, no matter how intimate, the pendulum will swing from one side to the other.” That’s when worship gets difficult…

The most common mistake Christians make in worship today is seeking an experience rather than seeking God. They look for a feeling, and if it happens, they conclude that they have worshiped. Wrong! In fact, God often removes our feelings so we won’t depend on them. Seeking a feeling, even the feeling of closeness to Christ, is not worship…

When you feel abandoned by God yet continue to trust Him in spite of your feelings, you worship Him in the deepest way.

This is a season we all go through. Brooke Fraser’s song ‘Faithful’ is a beautiful tribute and encouragement.

“Faithful”

There’s distance in the air
and I cannot make it leave
Iwave my arms’ round about me
and blow with all my might
I cannot sense you close,
though I know you’re always here
But the comfort of you near is what I long for

When I can’t feel you, I have learned to reach out just the same
When I can’t hear you, I know you still hear everyword I pray
And I want you more than i want to live another day
And as I wait for you maybe I’m made more faithful

All the folly of the past, though I know it is undone
I still feel the guilty one, still trying to make it right
So I whisper soft your name, let it roll around my tongue,
Knowing you’re the only one who knows me
You know me

Show me how I should live this
Show me where I should walk
I count this world as loss to me
You are all I want
You are all I want

“For God has said, ‘I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.'” Hebrews 13:5

Question to Consider: How can I stay focused on God’s presence, especially when He feels distant?

Have you felt distant from God? Are you in this season right now? How did you overcome or how are you overcoming?

PLEASE NOTE: Quotations in this and other posts relating to The Purpose Driven Life (usually entitled Day:?) are sourced from The Purpose Driven Life book by Rick Warren unless otherwise stated. This is an independant study and is based on my opinion and experience only. Copies of The Purpose Driven Life book are available for purchase from all good christian books stores, including Koorong. The first seven chapters of the book can be downloaded FREE from Rick Warren’s official site here.

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