Have you ever asked, “Why do I feel far from God?” Though God is never far from you, your circumstances and mindsets can make you feel like He is. There are ways to reconnect with and rest in the presence of God when He feels far, namely by getting in the Word, praying, and finding community.
4 Reasons You Feel Far From God
Lack of Time in God’s Word
God’s Word encourages, teaches, and guides you. If you aren’t spending time in His Word, you miss the daily instruction and encouragement He offers. If you are feeling down and doubtful, think about what you do to relieve the feelings. Where do you go–the fridge, Facebook, or to a friend? While these things aren’t evil in and of themselves, pause and see what God’s Word says about the situation. Yes, a friend can be encouraging and helpful, but don’t forget God considers you a friend (John 15:15) and wants to speak to you through His Word.
Lack of Prayer
Personal prayer time is a place and space that allows you to speak to God about what is in your heart and hear from Him. When your prayer life is minimal, you can feel far from God. Why? Prayer allows you to place your burdens at His feet and receive the peace Jesus has for you. Burdens weigh you down and pull you away from God. God wants to hear what is in your heart. You can boldly approach His throne confidently during your time of need (Hebrews 4:6). Don’t let the enemy lie and tell you God doesn’t hear your prayers.
Lack of Fellowship
Hebrews 10:25 reminds you of the importance of coming together as Christians. It reads, “… not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” When you gather in community, there is strength and protection. Why do you need strength and protection? Because you have an enemy who wants to destroy you. Coming together is like forming a fortress against the enemy.
Lack of Worship
Worship is a purposeful way to do spiritual warfare. It creates a connection between you and the Lord. It guards you against feeling far from God. Praising, rejoicing, dancing, and thanking God through music speaks to your soul. You don’t have to wait until Sunday services to worship. Put on worship music and worship in your home, by yourself, or with your family. It can be a fun way to engage your kids or an intimate time between you and God. Either way, worship draws you near to the heart of God.
How the Enemy Tries to Pull You Away
There is an enemy who is against you. Though you belong to God, he wants you to forget your identity and purpose. He uses circumstances to provoke anger, jealousy, bitterness, and doubt within your mind so that your focus is on the world rather than Christ.
Here are a few ways the enemy tries to make you feel far from God…
- Frustrations with self or others
The enemy knows what frustrates you. He will highlight those things throughout your day. This is where he wants you to focus so that you feel far from God, empty, and irritable. When you start to operate from a place of frustration, others notice the irritability, they respond to it, and it can become a cycle that starts to spin out of control.
The enemy knows your weaknesses. He has been studying you since birth and uses your weaknesses against you. Jesus says His strength is made perfect in weakness. In other words, the temptations the enemy uses to pull you away from God are opportunities to lean into Jesus and see His strength work in the situation.
- Criticism and comparison
Most of us do not enjoy criticism. The enemy uses criticism to make you feel rejected and defeated. Most of us get defensive and start to compare ourselves with others or place blame. Though Satan uses criticism and comparison to tell you what you don’t have or can’t do, God uses it to remind you that His approval defines you–not the world. When the world says one thing about you, search the Word to discover what God says about you.
- Keeping you focused on your past
We all hold on to the past to an extent. Some instances stick in our minds and can be hard to move past. Focusing on the past—mistakes made and hurtful experiences—can make us feel far from God. Take a personal assessment with God. Ask Him what He wants you to learn from your past, then give it to Him and move on. Ask Him to remind you of the joy, goodness, and mercy you have available to you every day.
- Keeping you busy
We are busier than ever in today’s fast-paced world. Busyness is one of the main ways the enemy pulls us away from God. In our busyness, we lose track of time and get out of habits that help us stay connected to God and hear His voice. Carving out time each day to get quiet with Him helps protect you from the trap of the enemy.
Key Takeaway: If you aren’t aware of the enemy’s schemes, you fall right into his trap. But when you know, you can armor up and wisely navigate the mindsets and situations he uses to make you feel far from God.
The Bible says that our feelings should not guide us. God gave them to us for a purpose, to draw us nearer to Him. The enemy uses them to pull us away. But God wants to be the one who guides us. Our feelings lead us astray, deceive, make us “fools,” and darken our understanding.
- “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?”—Jeremiah 17:9
- “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.”—Proverbs 29:11
- “having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart…”—Ephesians 4:18
Know that God said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). He promises to be with you till the end of the age. Even if you feel far from God, He is near.
- “… I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”—Matthew 28:20
- “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.”—Psalm 139:7-10
The enemy uses your feelings and situations to pull you away from God. But there is a way to guard your heart when you feel far from God.
- Get into God’s Word.
- Spend time in prayer.
- Get into community.
- Spend time in worship.
Feelings are intended to draw you near, so when you know the enemy’s schemes and God’s truth, you are prepared to navigate whatever situation comes your way.
God wants you to know He is close. Will you spend time growing your relationship with Him?