Thje bible says that we all have a sinful nature. Romans 7:18 says “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” So, when did you first become painfully aware of your sinful nature?
Alcoholics Anonymous is a place of healing, support, encouragement, and accountability. It’s a place where people are expected to “be real” about their struggles and addictions. No one says, “I don’t have a problem. I’m just fine.”
Now, I don’t envy anyone who struggles with a drinking or drug addiction, but the PLACE sounds pretty inviting; a place where people are welcomed with open arms because of a shared struggle and a desire to get beyond their present situation.
This last Sunday, I was contemplating my faith, what I believe, and I couldn’t help just going back to the basics of the Gospel. And isn’t the Gospel where our faith should start and end anyway?
The Gospel is where our faith should start and end
Sometimes people feel disconnected from God. I hear people pray, “Lord, why are you so distant?” If you read the Psalms you’ll see a cycle of appeals to God such as Psalm 10:1, “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”.
What does this say about God and us?
This says more about us and our insufficient perspective than it does about God. Our Christian theology affirms a belief in God’s “omnipresence”. Omnipresence means present everywhere at the same time. He has been that way for all eternity. He isn’t contained by this universe (His creation). Yet, he permeates every inch of it.
That means He’s there in your bedroom, in the bathroom, in your car, at your work, with you on vacation, and with you in times of joy and in times of immense pain and heartache.
Three reasons He seems so far away
So, if He is so close, why does He sometimes seem so far away? I think this stems from three sources.
1. Many times, we treat God as if He is there for OUR benefit (like a magic genie)…and when we have no compelling needs, we forget about Him and what he wants from us. Just listen to your own prayers for a moment. Are they praise and thanksgiving, or mostly requests for our own benefit? And when our prayers go unanswered, we feel like God isn’t listening or aware of our existence.
2. We incorrectly feel we are worthy of His constant presence. Yet God is Holy and hates our sin. If we embrace our sin and continue to sin without self restraint, aren’t we repelling His very presence? When we give up control and allow the Holy Spirit to guide and correct us, He is faithful to enter our lives and make His presence known.
3. We are too busy for God. We are busy bodies going here and there and don’t give God our time. Jesus regularly went off by himself to commune with the Father. To feel God’s presence, we must slow down and set aside intentional time to connect with Him.
What can you do about it?
I want to leave you with a few final thoughts. Whether you are in tune with His constant presence or not, God is right there…always.
How would your life change if you LIVED your BELIEF that God is HOLY, and EVERYWHERE at ALL TIMES (e.g. You are always in His presence), and that He LOVES you, and that unrepentant sin is what separates you from Him?
My prayer for you is that you praise God for His presence, ask what He wants from you, slow down, and allow the Holy Spirit to transform you.
PS – In addition to feeling disconnected from God, sometimes we feel disconnected from our own families. If you struggle connecting with your earthly relationships, I’d encourage you to check out the interactive Relationship Journal at RealFamilyConnections.com. It can really help.