Have you ever found yourself distant from God? I mean, you pray and thank him on a daily basis but you have a feeling that your relationship isn’t very deep at the moment. What causes this to happen? How can I be so close to God one moment and feel so distant the next?
CHOOSE THE WORLD OR CHOOSE JESUS?
As I’ve journeyed through my faith I have found myself in this situation more than once, and in thinking back over those times I have noticed something: it’s my fault. That doesn’t sound very comforting or reassuring and I’m sure there are more politically correct answers as to why I become distant from God, but for me it always comes back to my actions. What I have found is that I allow myself to become consumed with thoughts of this world and not in the Scriptures regularly, which ultimately supplants God and His relationship in my life. I choose a broken world over a holy God. The world, with all the issues it presents, becomes front and center in my life rather than my relationship with Jesus. Not that the issues I wrestle with are evil in nature (bills that require payment, children that demand care and possessions that need maintenance), but I’ve found that many times I will dwell on these things. I become fixated with issues rather than with the God who gives me wisdom to make good decisions in those areas. Even church activities or Christian charities can become distractions if we dwell on the activity or charity rather than Jesus and how He is at the center of all these things.
DISCIPLINE AND FOCUS
So what’s the solution? How do I maintain my relationship with Jesus in a world that is broken and competes for my time and energy? The answer, though simple, requires discipline: We must focus on Jesus. In Philippians 4:8-9, Paul encourages the believers to think about things which are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. It’s no secret who these attributes perfectly describe. Later in Hebrews 12:1-3, we are encouraged to fix our eyes on Jesus and remember what he has done for us so “we will not grow weary and lose heart.” May we dwell on Christ each and every moment and as a result may our faith be strong and our relationship with Him be abundant. Although it’s our fault we grow distant, we can’t fix it by ourselves. Therefore, may we turn to Christ and allow Him to guide us. Recently, as I’ve pondered about my relationship with Christ, a chorus has been running through my mind. I believe it sums up these verses beautifully and I pray you will sing it too.
TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS
(Written by Helen H. Leemel, Copyright © Public Domain)
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
look full in his wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
in the light of His glory and grace.