Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
James 4:8 (NASB)
There are times when I feel like God has me in the palm of His hand, and there have been times when God feels like He is a million miles away. Many times, I have just missed the presence of God because I was trying to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders.
But God’s word tells us where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So why are so many of God’s people living in bondage? What causes these drastic ends of the spectrum? How can God feel so close one second and in the next His absence is frightening?
For me, the realization and answer to these questions came when I truly discovered what being free in Christ meant.
For many people, freedom simply means the absence of bondage. But to truly be free means you understand who you are in Christ by finding your purpose.
It means you are using your God-given gifts to better His kingdom.
First you must understand what your pathway to God is. Everyone feels close to God doing different things at different times. For some, it’s when they’re reading His word, serving others, worshiping and praising His name, or marveling at His creation. Some feel closest to Him in solitude when all distractions have been removed. Others find intimacy with God while doing a mixture of these.
God created each of us uniquely, so each of us is going to experience Him differently. The important thing is that we all experience the dynamic presence of God.
Understanding when and how we feel closest to God is crucial in our daily walk with Christ. We all search for worth and value. Jesus gave His life for us. We are priceless.
We find significance and purpose when we use our God-given gifts for His glory, and we feel closest to Him when we plug into our spiritual pathway. Our spiritual pathway has to do with the way we most naturally sense God’s presence and experience spiritual growth in our personal lives. Each of us has at least one pathway that comes most easily to us. John Ortberg’s book, God is Closer Than You Think, opened my eyes not only to my own pathway but also to the different major pathways in other people’s lives.
There is something supernatural about feeling close to God. When you discover how you best do that, the greater your fellowship and intimacy with God will be and the more impact you will have for His kingdom. Whether you are on an intellectual pathway and draw closer to God as you learn more about Him or you are on any of the other major pathways, the most important thing for you to discover is how you connect and feel closest to God.
God made each of us different for a reason. There are many parts to the body, and it’s when these parts work together we have the greatest impact.
When I praise God and write, I feel closest to Him. I feel something inside me lifted up, and then in return I feel full of His love, mercy and grace. That is something I believe everyone should experience for themselves.
Connecting to God is crucial. Once you’ve done that, connecting others to God should be your next mission in life. One of the best ways you can do that is by helping them discover their gifting, calling, and pathway to God. As a parent, it has been really amazing watching the pathways already begin to form in my two-year-old daughter as she dances around waving her flag of freedom.
You must realize that others’ pathways may not be the same as yours, so prepare yourself for this. It used to drive me crazy when I would be praising God on Sunday morning and look around and see people not engaging the same way I was. Even though I felt closest to God during praise, I had to recognize there are many other ways to connect with God. Embracing how God made each of us is the most important thing.
God is continually trying to speak to each one of us in so many more ways than just words, and it’s only when we seek Him above all else that we will truly find Him.
Jeff Davis is a man after God’s own heart, and his passion for serving the Lord was birthed during his first mission trip to Kenya with Youth for Christ over 20 years ago. He is a husband, father and pastor whose transparency in writing about giving hope to a lost and hurting world through the mountaintop and valley experiences of his life has encouraged thousands of readers. Jeff has written hundreds of pieces and has printed four devotionals. His most recent tells the tale of a bittersweet season called the NICU, in which he became a father and learned very quickly the pain a parent feels watching their child suffer.
You may visit Jeff at: http://www.jeffdavisblog.wordpress.com or http://www.hopefromabove.com or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jeffdavis777 or Facebook @JD4NOLES.