2002-03-23 - It May Be Our Move
Encore from 1997-08-01
When we feel distant from God -- and most of us go through it at some time! -- sometimes we wait and wonder why God doesn't seem close. At times, it is because we need to make the first move back toward God. He seeks us, but we must seek Him also.
James 4:8 (NRSV) Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Note: Our drawing near precedes His.
And we are to go to our local churches, to listen, to learn from His word, fellowship with His people and to serve with the gifts He has given us. That is a part of the process.
Eccl 5:1 (NIV) Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.
Note that the words "draw" and "go" are action-oriented. They require us to initiate action.
Also we need to keep praying during the dry times. The Psalmist earnestly seeks out God. He pours out his feelings to Him.
Psa 6:3-4 (NIV) My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long? 4 Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.
In addition, it helps to talk with Christian friends who have experienced distant times from God.
I personally have found that if I keep doing the things I should -- prayer, worship, Bible study -- even when I don't feel like it, the closeness to God returns. But I have to do my part. I can't sit back and wait for God to act. And often, our faith on the "other side" is even stronger than previously.
Dear Lord, help us to do our part in seeking You out. Help those who feel distant from You, to know You are there, and to better understand the love You have for them. In Jesus' name amen.