What To Do When You Feel Far From God
“But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall…”
Ephesians 2:13, 14
Do you ever feel like a Christian who is far from God? Man, I sure did. It was a constant feeling of dread:
“Am I doing this right? I don’t think I am.”
“Oh no, I messed up. God is gonna be so mad. I better make up for this tomorrow so He doesn’t punish me.”
“Dang it. I lost my temper, again. WHY CAN’T I JUST BE A GOOD CHRISTIAN?!”
“The heck with it. I keep messing up, God is already mad at me, I’m just gonna drink. What more harm could I possibly do?”
“If I’m really saved, why do these bad things keep happening to me? That’s it, I’m making SURE God treats me right. I’m never missing another church service, I’m never gonna cuss again, and I’m going to read my Bible at least 30 minutes a day, THEN God will answer my prayers.”
Or even, “WHY DO I FEEL LIKE THIS?! AM I EVEN A CHRISTIAN?! I CAN’T GET THIS RIGHT!”
…I could easily continue writing such statements as these for an hour, but I won’t because I don’t think this way any more. All of those thoughts do nothing except create distance between me and my Creator, in my mind–and I’ve already un-learned them. How?…Oh you’re gonna love this:
By getting to know Jesus, personally, daily! Yep! This is the secret to removing incorrect thinking as a Christian. GET TO KNOW JESUS, over time.
“But Matt, I thought I did know Him. I asked Him into my heart, I told Him I believe, so why do I keep feeling like I’m so far away?”
Friend, over the course of my mind-renewal with Christ, I’ve learned that you can’t just go off of your feelings, you have to learn to go off of His truth as well; and that takes time. To enjoy any relationship, it takes time because you are getting to know the other person–same with God. The process of getting to know Him, and actually becoming like Him, will not end on this side of heaven (See Philippians 1:6). So be easy on you.
Sure, Christ in you has now given you new desires to make different choices in thought, word, and deed–because when you’re saved, God writes new desires on your heart (see Hebrews 8:10)–but you’re just a baby in your spirit; freshly born (see John 3:7). At first, babies need to be coddled and hand-fed. But after they grow, they need to learn to stand, then walk, then run! We should always be moving forward growing in our mind renewal, while also understanding it is not our state of mind which saved us–only our faith Jesus did that.
Never confuse your salvation with the process of allowing Jesus to renew your thinking! No matter how you feel! Your feelings didn’t save you, Jesus did!
Accepting Jesus as the Savior of your sin gives you a rebirth, spiritually. Once you believed, that moment, it happened! More than likely you didn’t feel anything happen (although you could have), but supernaturally an event occurred. The spirit part of you was made perfectly brand new! By faith, your spirit was crucified with Christ, and now He lives in you, actually infused with your spirit forever! (see Romans 6, Galatians 2:20).
“*Gasp*! BLASPHEMY! Matt, we aren’t perfect! We are dirty, rotten sinners!” That’s what the religious Christians will say. But I beg to differ. We were imperfect, we were dirty rotten sinners–but not now. At our core, our spiritual DNA says, “Child of God”–we’re the exact same as Christ!
Jesus told Nicodemus in the most famous Bible passage of all time, found in John 3, the very thing that I’m telling you: You MUST become perfect, spiritually. No if, ands, or buts. How? Rebirth, spiritually–become exactly like Christ!
Please allow me to repeat this for emphasis because I too had to have my mind renewed: ONCE YOU PLACE YOUR FAITH IN JESUS YOU ARE PERFECT–SPIRITUALLY. God the Father now sees you in the same light as Jesus because of your faith in the Cross. A new agreement happened between the Father and Son, and we are the beneficiaries! (See Hebrews 8:13). We did NOTHING to create this agreement, we can’t enforce it, or sustain it–we simply reap the benefits. The innocent, perfect, Godly blood, which was shed for you–and because of your acceptance of it for your sins–that has made you exactly like Jesus in your spirit, the eternal part of you! You’ve been supernaturally baptized into Christ! (See Romans 6).
THAT’S CALL TO CELEBRATE!
The gospel means “good news” for a reason! You’ve become exactly like Christ, spiritually. So your identity is now in Jesus and not in yourself any longer. Paul, a former bounty-hunter of Christians said it best:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Spiritually, you are Christ. Stop doubting that. Say it with me, and believe it as true:
“Spiritually, I am Christ.”
“Spiritually, I AM CHRIST.”
“SPIRITUALLY I AM CHRIST!”
YES!!! Your feelings will catch up to this truth later! But keep saying it!
Believe this! PLEASE! Why? Because once you do, you’ll not be so hard on yourself any longer. You will STOP doubting. You will stop feeling far from God, because you’re not! GOD IS IN YOU, COMPLETELY! And even YOU can’t make Him go away because this agreement between the Father and Son will never end! (See 2 Timothy 2:13, Hebrews 7:25).
Once you get this fact down pat–embedded in your soul–the actual truth about your identity, everything changes. You stop being so mean to yourself, you stop calling yourself a sinner, and you stop believing the lies of others. Only now, you deal with yourself and others, in a loving, confident way, like Jesus does.
Jesus is in you. The Holy Spirit, the spirit-version of your Creator resides in your sprit, with you. You’re not far from God no matter how you feel, because you and Him are one.
The problem is you still have this pesky little thing called flesh. God didn’t change this part of you when you got saved. It’s still the same as it’s always been. You have to begin to reign in the actions of your flesh by the power of your spirit, who is Jesus, by allowing Him to renew your mind day by day.
Plainly stated, your flesh likes what it sees, and wants it now. It has no moral compass. It is simply a tool for your soul to use. Your flesh previously led your life, but now Jesus does. Your flesh is necessary and God-given because it is what allows you to live out this life on planet earth with free will.
SO BE EASY ON YOUR FLESH! One day it will be gone, and when Jesus comes back you’ll get a new body–a perfect one (see 1 Corinthians 15:52). Your flesh does not define you, your spirit does! Your spirit now leads your flesh! Not the other way around!
Here’s where this comes full circle:
By getting to know Jesus, day by day, a relationship begins to form with Him. Therefore, changing how you feel.
How do you build up this relationship? Through prayer, worship (which is anything about your life you offer up to Him), and His Word. By simply waking up each day, saying, “I’m available. Use me. Live through me.” Make no mistake, He will!
A prayer for you: Wow, good morning Heavenly Father, it’s good to be alive! You chose US to wake up today, to have life, and to have it abundantly. Thank you! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. Many of them are way too hard on themselves, and live by how they feel. Please, help them. Help them to realize that it is Jesus who resides in them spiritually! Help them to realize that their true identity is found IN Christ! Once they understand this truth, their words and actions will THEN begin to reflect this fact, little by little, as it did me. Thank you Jesus for making us a part of your Family! We love you! Amen.
For more of my teachings, pick up one of my books!