God! Where Did You Go?

By January 3, 2015Inspiration

Jesus teaches in John 17:14 that His followers (like you and me) are in this world, but not of it. We live by different standards. We have benefits available only to us because we are God’s chosen people (James 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9). Spiritual truths are revealed to us that are hidden from people who don’t yet know Christ (Colossians 1:26).

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have chosen a different way of life. We have chosen a Kingdom of God life! We walk according to the Spirit and not the flesh . . . at least that’s what we want to do, right?

But anyone who has been person of faith for very long knows there are times when God feels very close – and oh, those are sweet and wonderful times. But there are also times when He feels distant and there seems to be a degree of separation. Maybe you feel that way now.

You know God is real. You know His Word is truth. You know He is faithful and loving . . . and in your mind, you know that He is living inside of you! Even if you don’t “feel like it.”

So why do we go through times when He feels distant . . . and what can we do to return to the closeness we know we can experience?

First, it’s not God who causes the separation. He says that He will never leave us or forsake us. That means He’s doing His part to stay near. His Word says, “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

Therefore, we are the ones who have brought about the change.

I believe this happens for many reasons. But one of the most common is that we slowly start to allow other things to enter into our lives that distract us from our Father. In the same way that this can happen with natural relationships, it can happen with our relationship with God.

If you have a close friend that you’re used to talking with daily and then for some reason you don’t talk as often . . . the relationship changes. We know we need to invest ourselves and our time to keep the friendship strong and intimate.

Related: Do You Want to Know God’s Purpose for Your Life?

Being distracted and moving away from God doesn’t usually happen quickly. Yes, there are times when we might have a few days when we don’t have daily time in the Word or to experience God’s presence in prayer and meditation. But then we get back on track and all is well.

But then there are times when bit-by-bit we allow other things to move in and steal the time and attention we would normally have with Him. I’m not talking about turning to sinful acts . . . or walking away from the faith. The distractions can be simple and enjoyable activities. But they are distractions, none the less.

Think of the word “distraction.” Dis means “apart or away.” And the “traction” part of the word means direction. So a distraction means “to draw in a different direction or away from the path being followed.”

Today’s world is clamoring with distractions! We have so many options. So many opportunities. So many bright and shiny objects to enjoy! And truthfully, we often allow these options to distract us and draw us away from God and in another direction.

I have been distracted with a jam-packed to-do list. I have been distracted with a busy travel schedule. I have been distracted by my flesh wanting to do something different than sit with God and His Word (not a pretty admission, but it is the truth).

So here comes the antidote . . . the solution . . . the corrective action. And it’s a central element in our faith. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are His disciples. And as His disciples, we have spiritual disciplines that we want to practice.

The same “dis” here still means “away or apart,” but this time it is joined with a part of language that means “to take hold of.” Disciples follow the way of the teacher and separate themselves to follow the master’s way. In our case, we follow our Master Jesus. We stay on track by developing and adhering to disciplines and routines. Following the routine keeps us on the path that He sets before us.

Our Creator knows that we need routines and disciplines. He tells us in His Word to live by them and then we will be blessed and have the life we want. Here is just one example: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8

His instruction is clear . . . and then He gives us the choice as to whether we will follow His ways. “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19.

In the same way the separation takes place slowly, the return to the path may require some time, also. Not a long time. But developing a routine or a discipline does not take place overnight. Instead, time and consistency are required. That’s the very definition of a routine: “an unvarying or habitual method of procedure developed over time.”

If you want to get back to that loving, powerful and joyful experience of feeling close to God, make a decision to develop a routine for your time with Him. And then practice it daily . . . consistently . . . and make it part of your spiritual practice as a disciple of Jesus Christ, your Master and Lord.

Be blessed as you continue to grow in the ways of the Kingdom.

20 Comments

  • Priscilla Wyndham says:

    I truly would just like to say “ditto” to all the beautiful messages that were left in January of this year. With only a couple days left in 2015, I pray that we will all seek God’s will for 2016, knowing that He will never let us down. Let us spend more time with Him, and rid ourselves of any and all distractions that stand in the way.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Lovely message, Prescilla.

      Blessings to you in the New Year as you continue to grow in the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

  • Mary says:

    I want you to know Susan that you have helped me tremendously. Your words of encouragement in my email box, The Daniel Fast and your newsletters all have encouraged and helped me to rededicate my life fully to Christ and get rid of pride and this has been a two year process. I have moved in that process and know I am now finally in God’s perfect will again. Thanks so much for all you do in helping others to stay the course.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Oh, Mary!

      Thank you for sharing this lovely message. My heart is full of thanksgiving for you and to our Lord for working in both of our lives. Be blessed as you continue to grow in the love and knowledge of Jesus. He is so good and our true Guide to all that is good.

      Love to you, dear one.

  • Grace (bbtb) says:

    Thank you for the encouraging word, they are a blessing
    to me.

    Be Blessed

  • Angela says:

    What an awesome word and oh so timely for me. As of late, I have been so terribly busy being busy that I have allowed myself to be distracted from what’s most important in my life for far too long now. I am now taking a step back and stopping to commune with My Father in Heaven just as I show up for all of my meetings and other functions. My time with Him is far greater though!
    Be Blessed!

  • BESSIE YOUNG says:

    THANKS FOR ENCOURAGING WORDS.

  • Bonisiwe says:

    Thank u for these inspiring words I needed it

  • Jackie says:

    Thank you so much for your encouragement and inspiration. I am on in my 2nd day of the Daniel Fast. I thank The Lord for leading me to, my prayer is for me grow closer to him as I continue to seek him. The Fast is challenging but I am continuing, there are family events upcoming, but I will deal with them as they arise. I am trusting The Lord, I know he will provide what I need to get through it.

    Be Blessed

  • Thank you for the inspiring words. God is good.

  • Nomzekelo says:

    Thank you very much Susan, I now know what went wrong with the strong presence of God in the past few weeks. I pray for Gods help in managing the distractions so that I spend time with my Lord meditating on his word.

  • annahruth says:

    Thank you , for those encouraging words that stirs my heart , i am in my fouth day of the Daniel fast and i am enjoying everyday with God and his word.
    I have learnt not to settle for less and miss the Best that God has planned for me in 2015.

    God bless you ( Annahruth Samuel )

  • Juernene F Bass says:

    Thank you Mrs Susan for the affirmation and encouragement to continue the close relationship with God and Jesus as I have grown to know deep in my soul and spirit for over fifty years. God is why I AM!!! Peace & Blessings, Juernene Chippy of Maryland

  • Massah Mokuwa says:

    I would like to be spiritually strong in the Lord and have more time with him everyday. So I really need your help in prayer.

  • Adam says:

    Susan, great message, and awesome reminder that in order to draw closer to God, I have to “discipline” myself to spending time in prayer and reading His Word everyday. I’m going to really focus on that during these next 21 days of my Daniel fast. Thank you so much!
    Blessings,
    Adam Blythe

  • rapando Nancy says:

    Great message, I thank God

  • Joy Matthews says:

    This is a good website to help you move forward in God.

  • Felicity N Radebe says:

    Thank you for this passage. While reading through it I realized that I truly moved myself from where I was with God. I have taken in so many interests and in turn, lost focus. I read the scriptures quoted and wrote them down for future reference. The load on my shoulders now feel manageable. I can se where I went wrong. Today, I take the first step to shedding my disturbances. A day at a time. Put me in your prayers. Thank you very much.

  • nomkhosi zondi says:

    I like to read more

  • ann says:

    Thanks for the inspiration & I pray am able to read & study the word consistently. Its my same prayer for the rest of the saints. Happy new year

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