Do you feel distant from the Lord Jesus? Guess who moved? Hint: It wasn’t him.
All of us have times when the Lord seems distant and our relationship seems more rote than exciting. What are we to do?
Here are five Biblical strategies for growing closer to the Lord.
1. Seek him.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart (Psalm 119:2). Anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6). Somehow we forget that becoming a Christian is not the end of seeking God, but just the beginning. If your heart has grown cold, confess that fact to the Lord and tell him you desire to seek to know him more and more. Begin listening for his response to that confession. Plan some different strategies to seek him.
2. Worship him.
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks (John 4:23). When the Father is worshiped, he shows up. He is seeking worshipers. Individual worship will warm your heart and begin to reestablish that love relationship with the Lord. And the Spirit will show up to bless.
3. Draw near to him.
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners and purify your hearts you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourself before the Lord, and he will lift you up (James 4:8-10). Ultimately it is sin that separates us from God. Make a fearless moral inventory. Confess and renounce any and all known sin in your life. Ask the Lord to deeply show you any sin you are not seeing.
4. Listen to him.
This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him! (Mark 9:27). The natural (sinful) tendency is to move from relationship to religion. The Lord desires to speak to us through the Holy Spirit through the Word. Everything he wants to say is in the Word. It just needs to be personalized for us. And for that we need to open his word and listen to the Spirit.
5. Withdraw with him.
Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5:16). Take a couple of hours, 1/2 a day or a whole day to pray and practice 1-4 above. We know that marriages benefit from leaving the routine to concentrate on each other. How much more our relationship with our heavenly Father?
Feeling distant from God? It does not have to stay that way. He didn’t move. And he’s waiting for you.