2010-06-03 - Feeling Disconnected from
Originally Published 2005-05-23, as part of Tim's Summer Questions Series
"Lately, I've felt disconnected from God. I read the Bible and pray, but
often, I still don't feel much. How do I feel connected again?"
This is a very practical question and I am glad you asked it, because it
might be helpful to many. There is frankly no magical answer. We all struggle
with different things, and honestly, we all go through dry times. When I
am experiencing a dry time, I often shake things up. I do something different
in my walk with the Lord. It could be almost any change. One thing that sometimes
works for me is that if I am reading or studying a book of the Bible that
is just not doing it for me, I switch to one which I know will encourage
me. There is no easy answer to becoming UN-disconnected, but I am going to
suggest a few.
Do what you are doing. Prayer and Bible reading are the basics.
Neither one of them is always dynamic, and as I said, we all have dry times,
but we have to stick to these basics. In prayer, ask the Spirit to guide
you, your hopes, dreams, and what it is in your life that really makes you
happy. Be honest with the Lord in prayer, and simply say what you just said
to me. Tell the Lord you feel disconnected, and that you don't like it, and
want a walk of faith where you feel like you are closer than any relationship
you have ever had in your life. We see so clearly, especially in the Psalms,
that the Lord hears our prayer, and David was one of the most honest that
we see in Scripture. He set us a good example, and we should be honest with
the Lord, as he was.
Seek fellowship. It is often that the fellowship, encouragement, and
example of other believers can work both as a guide and as a motivation to
us. Now, fellow Christians are also sinners, and so we must understand that
sometimes other believers can bring us down. But what we need to seek out
are those who will help us to grow in our faith, and rest more securely in
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Seeking fellowship is something
that is awkward for many at first, but once we get into the flow, get to
know people, and get known by others, it is a great way to help us in this
hard walk of being faithful to Christ.
Cling to Christ. This is really hard to define, and it really is a
lifestyle. It comes down to how we live these few short moments we get graciously
from the Lord. If our hearts of stone have been changed by the Lord, we ought
to take all the breaths we have left, to cling to Christ. We will be doing
it for eternity, so why not start now? Resting in Christ has a couple of
advantages. One is peace of conscience. When we know that we are walking
in the will of the Lord, it is hard to feel that disconnection, but when
we stray, it is so easy to feel like we are as far as the East is from the
West from God. I am not saying you have strayed, but I am just saying that
clinging to Christ, the forgiveness offered in Him, and His unending mercy,
is a great way to feel connected to the Lord.
Remember that our faith is not really based on feelings. Faith is
not really a feelings issue. Faith, simply put, is faith in something other
than we can really understand. If we are honest, we can all admit that we
live by faith every day. It takes faith just to live life, and faith in Christ
is the smartest faith we could ever muster up. So we don't base things on
our feelings. Rather, we seek to inform our feelings, based on the truths
that we learn in Scripture, and then seek to connect to the truths that we
learn from Scripture in our lives. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, because
it is so much more than we could ever understand on our own.
I am so thankful for your question. I hope some of these things are helpful
both for you, and for many others.
Soli Deo Gloria,