June 03, 2022 Orange Street church of Christ

Who Moved?

Who Moved?

A preacher story is told about a man and his wife driving down a country road in their old pickup truck with a bench seat. As they were going, the wife told her husband, “Do you know what I can’t figure out?” The husband replied, “what’s that dear?” The wife responds, “When we first got married, whenever we went for a ride in the truck, we would sit right next to each other. Now, you sit all the way over there, and I sit all the way over here.” The husband, sitting at the steering wheel quipped, “well, I know I didn’t move!” 

Sometimes, our relationship with God can be similar: We start to feel more distant from God. It seems like God isn’t as close as He used to be. We begin to long for the days when things were better, and we felt closer to God and wonder what happened. Well, the truth is, God hasn’t moved! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). Here are some things to consider if it feels like you are not as close to God as you used to be. 

First, when God feels more distant, it is possible that we have drifted from Him. We are warned in Hebrews 2:1 to “give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away” (NKJV). If we have been slack in our Bible reading, prayer, or assembling with the saints, we shouldn’t be surprised if we feel more distant from God than we used to feel. If one goes long without the reminders of the Word, diving communication in prayer, or encouragement from brethren, God can very easily begin to seem more distant. 

If we know we have drifted, we must be honest with ourselves and seek to scooch back closer to our Heavenly Father.  To put more effort into spiritual things is a choice. We can choose to “be zealous and repent” (Rev. 3:19). 

Maybe you need to pray a prayer similar to David’s in Psalm 51:10-12: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” Dwell on all the things that made you want to seek God as fervently as you used to and remember that nothing about those eternal truths has changed. 

Second, it is possible that we have not drifted from God but feel as though we have. Maybe we are as diligent and zealous as we used to be. We still read the Bible and pray and assemble as much as ever, but we feel like we are not as close to God as we once were. If this is true for us, it may be the case that our feelings are misleading us. Feelings can be extremely fickle and do not always represent the truth. We must remember that “if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things” (1 Jn. 3:20). A feeling is not always representative of a spiritual truth. In this case, we must trust God more than our heart and hope and pray to feel close to God again as we serve Him the best we can, undeterred by our emotions. 

Third, we might feel far from God because we are. Unconfessed and unrepentant sin can separate us from our Holy Creator (Isa. 59:1-2; 1 Jn. 1:5-6; Acts 8:21-24). If we know that there is something separating us from God, the best option is to always deal with it as soon as possible. When we return to our Father, He welcomes us back with love and open arms (Lk. 15:20). Though our hidden sins can separate us from God, they are not unforgivable. When we bring them into the light we can awaken to spiritual life (Eph. 5:13-14). 

As you go through life, does God feel distant? We know that He hasn’t moved. Maybe we’ve moved from Him. If so, let’s return today! Or, maybe we have to stop listening to our emotions and start listening to the Word of God (as challenging as that can be). Let’s strive to sit close to God as He drives us down the road of life!