My Relationship With God Is Cold

My Relationship With God Is Cold

 

“How did you get close to God again? I’m not sinning, like doing drugs or drinking or swearing, but I get mad easily and don’t feel that connection with God. I just want my relationship with God back.”

If you are a mature believer, questions like this may be familiar. Here is an answer that has worked for me.

Do what the early church did.

42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42 NASB

  • Devote yourself to the apostles teaching — study the Bible regularly
  • Devote yourself to the fellowship — don’t go it alone. We need one another. We need the accountability of the body and we need to share our time and stuff with one another in sacrificial ways.
  • Devote yourself to the breaking of bread — again, we need to worship the King together. We need to remember the sacrifice of the cross together with other believers.
  • Devote yourself to “the prayers” — the text and most modern translations say “prayers” not “prayer”. The plural is important. Most scholars will say that the meaning is not just to “saying your prayers” or praying and talking to God regularly. The plural has a very specific referent. Either it means the 3x a day pattern of Jewish prayer in the first century or, and more likely, it means they devoted themselves to the prayer book of the Old Testament, the book of Psalms.

My own experience is, that when my walk with God has grown cold or lukewarm, doing these things restores my passion and appreciation for the wonders of the gospel and the beauty of my Savior.

Give it time. Doing these things is not a shot of adrenaline. They are exercises for your spirit and will “pay off” over time (just like physical exercise) as you continually make the “devote yourself” investment.

Ask yourself this question, what commands of Christ am I not doing that I know I ought to be doing? Why this question?

Look at John 14:21

21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” NASB

Jesus ties further revelation of himself, greater intimacy with himself to our obedience to the commands he has given us.

Look at Galatians 2:20

20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and a]the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” NASB

Live your life by faith not by how you feel.

Train your heart to act on truth revealed not how you feel in the moment.

Finally, check out your love life?

Read Luke 7:38–50, especially verse 47.

47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” NASB

“He who is forgiven little, loves little.” Whenever I, or any of us, forget how much we have been forgiven our faith will become stale and inconsequential to our lives; but when we go back to the cross, when we spend time meditating on how much we have been forgiven, new springs of joy will begin to arise in our hearts.



UpSide Down

Upside Down

“2020 will be known as a year of disruption. A global pandemic has monopolized our attention, blanketing media sources. Countries have spent weeks shut down, and COVID-19 brought travel to a halt, shuttered business, and consumed the attention of the medical world. A rapidly spreading virus truly has ‘turned the world upside down.’ Acts 17 uses that phrase as well but in a positive sense. Paul and Silas were preaching and ministering in the city of Thessalonica, to great success. Persecuted, their detractors said, ‘These that have turned the world upside down have come here too.’ (Acts 17:6 NKJV.) Against the backdrop of this pandemic, missionaries around the world continue to minister, bringing grace and mercy to a hurting and spiritually hungry world. They are turning their communities upside down by living out the gospel, being ready to give an answer to those with questions about their faith.”  
 
When minister Rev. Charles G. Finney began his evangelistic meetings in 1830 in Rochester, New York, so many came to Christ that bars closed, Sunday was a quiet day of rest, churches were full and crime diminished. One local historian recorded that “Rochester was shaken to its foundations.” It was a ‘world-turned-upside-down’ Holy Spirit happening.
 
When we hear and read about such occurrences we tend to think that such times are for mission fields and third world countries somewhere else, but from God’s perspective the whole planet is a mission field and the US is no different than Ghana in His eyes. This is a source of hope, because it means that the same Holy Spirit who is turning communities upside down elsewhere can also do it here in the US. God knows we need it at this time in our history.
      
Reflective question:  Will you believe that if a pandemic can turn the world upside down so can the power of the Gospel, and pray to that end for your community?
 
Reflective Scripture: Acts 4:31 – “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke the word of God boldly.”


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