There are times we feel incredibly on fire for God.
And other times all that passion seems to just fall off the edge of the Earth. Where did it go? What made it leave? Why don’t I feel anything? God?? HeelLLlooO?
Sometimes nothing outside of us has changed, and life seems pretty routine, just less… passionate.
I’m not talking about a silent God in the midst of incredible struggle. When everything outside of us has changed. When in our eyes, this is the perfect time for God to step on scene and be the powerful type.
No I’m talking about a less hectic spiritual numbness, one that comes and goes.
How do you deal with that?
Well the beautiful (and actually very tragic part), is that God usually isn’t the one slacking in the relationship. It seems ironic since to us God is the unphysical/unseeable one, but it’s true. Simply because God has an infinitely greater capacity to love, he’s the perfect one to be in relationship with.
If this were a tennis match and He were on our team. God isn’t the one bailing from sickness, tiredness, weakness, or loss of motivation, it’s us. God, I am so sorry.
However, that means you (with God’s grace) can do something about this numbness! Yay!
Don’t Chase a Feeling
F i r s t, We need to acknowledge that devotion/a deep relationship with God isn’t a feeling.
The problem we’re solving in this post isn’t getting you to feel desired feelings. Motivation/Devotion/Love, all of those aren’t feelings. They are acting despite feelings.
And the cool thing? Usually the feelings follow 🙂 like a little plus. So what we’re trying is to get you and I and anyone struggling with spiritual numbness to invest what’s needed for any healthy relationship, into our relationship with God: time, effort, and attention.
How can you tell if your relationship with God/conversion is not just feeling? That there’s more value and dedication in that relationship than the sum of the good feelings felt? Check your actions.
Imagine that your relationship with God was a tree. That means, every good thing that stems from that relationship is the fruit of the tree.
No fruit on a tree indicates that it’s dying. But sticking fruit on it doesn’t make it living. If there isn’t fruit, feeding and watering it makes it living. Then the gardener trusts in God to pour down rain and sunshine. And as time passes, fruit grows.
fruit = what God promises to turn us into as we have a relationship with Him.
water/food (for a tree) = practices/ideas/things that grow our relationship with God. (I’ve listed a lot below)
Tips on Growing Closer to God
So on with what to do. 🙂
- Practice the Sabbath. Spend 24 hours (Sabbath is the seventh day of the week) with the mindset of rest & worship (worship isn’t praying and worship music only, it’s just quality time with God). And pray that God gives you this mindset, He is the giver of everything after all.
- Pray what you actually think. Imagine if a person just came up to us every morning or evening and recited a list of favors we could do for them plus a few added statements. That’d be weirddddd at best. It’s ok if what you want to tell God is a list of favors or gets repetitive, but please actually say what you mean. Don’t keep reciting the same prayer (I guess except the Lord’s prayer? I don’t personally use that every day).
- Be unhurried. You. Can’t. Bond. When. You’re. Hurried. To get unhurried you might have to cut anything out that doesn’t support your highest priorities!
- Be bored. How is God supposed to talk to you when you’re constantly listening to music, a movie/series, Netflix, teachers, your family, and a million other voices?
- Read/learn about God. The more you know of someone, the more you know how to please them, what to expect, and how to communicate with them. The best part? The more you know of someone the more there is to love about them :). And don’t you love it when people learn more about you? It really bonds.
- Create for/Talk about God. These are like gifts to God. But the biggest gift is the attention
- Serve God. The Bible isn’t muddled in any sense about what God desires and expects. Serve Him by serving and loving human beings. These two things simply aren’t and can’t be separated.
- Study the Bible. For all the close relationships we have, while we might now validate and agree with their every opinion, we validate their voice. This means we truly consider what they have to say. Usually the closer we get to people the more weight we put to their words. When we take the Bible seriously we do this with God.
- Follow nudges. When we finally quiet our minds and take our focus off ourselves we’re able to feel the Holy Spirit nudging us to do things. Follow those! But make sure you don’t attribute urges to God that might not actually be from God/the Holy Spirit. The way to check this is with God’s written word, the Bible.
Of course, take a look at this list and find what works for you! A lot of these are great habits to develop even when we’re on those spiritual mountains where we feel the closest to God. This list has a bit much and it can seem like a lot of work! But I promise you, the more you experience God the way He intended, the more true life you will experience.
Just be sure as you do this to be gentle on yourself. You aren’t doing these things to be a good christian or a good enough christian. You’re doing these to get back intimacy with a loved one. So don’t be legalistic or guilt trip yourself!
You trying to get closer to God again is an indicator in and of itself that you’re putting into the relationship. It’s really a beautiful desire. 🙂
And hey, God is pulling you to Him even now. He’s not asking you to meet Him halfway, He’s just asking you to do all you can and He’ll take care of the rest.