Why is God distant?
1) Problem with priorities / our value system
We invest time in what we care about. We takes notes for class. We join study groups. We spend outside time to learn our trade so that we can advance our careers. But somehow when it comes to Christian life, we think a spare 5 min here and there is enough and we think God should magically make us a spiritual giant.
Application: Make God a priority in your life. Spend some time with Him.
2) Don’t underestimate sin / sinful nature
God had to come to us because we are hopeless sinners. Other religions teach that with adequate effort and time, we can reach God. Christianity’s starting point is that we are so hopelessly lost in sin that God had to come to us. He incarnated and dwelt among us. Sin is our biggest problem. This means that Christianity is not something that we fit into our lives. It is not something we tweak because we think that deep down inside we are still good. We are sinners. We are hopeless. God had to come to us.
Application: Be humble and find someone before whom you can confess your sins regularly.
3) Lack of structure / boundaries
Mother Teresa was not a spiritual giant by accident. She organized her day in a way to put God first. She had morning devotions. She labored in compassionate acts to those in need. She had midday prayer. She served. She had afternoon confession. She ended with a time of worship and adoration. This was her daily schedule.
Billy Graham asked the hotels to remove the TV from his room whenever he was traveling. He knew his weaknesses and he put boundaries around his life.
Application: Commit to some spiritual disciplines. Identify your weaknesses and put boundaries to minimize temptations.
4) Lack of connections with other believers.
There is no such thing as a lone ranger Christian. Yet esp. in the West, we have been bred with an unhealthy individualism. This mentality infiltrates our spiritual lives and we think Christian life is like a school where we attend various classes (i.e. Jesus 101) to obtain knowledge and improve ourselves.
Jesus did not set up a school for his disciples. He lived with them. And in that close proximity, faith was not taught, it was caught. There are many truths that are embodied and we can only learn in the context of a community. Things like love one another cannot be done in isolation. God’s nature (Trinity) is communal by nature. Many NT books were written to entire churches, not to individuals and we need to read it with that lens.
Application: Find a body of believers and commit to them. We need each other.
5) Lack of daily struggling with the Word of God.
Many approach the spiritual life as a consumer. It is the McChurch mentality. I will go here for discipleship. I will go to this other group for fellowship. Etc. And we look for spiritual experiences at these various venues to drive our spiritual lives.
Application: There is no substitute to taking the mirror of God’s Word and applying it to our lives daily. Struggle with it. Meditate on it day and night. Let’s become men and women of the Book.