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Reconnecting with God: Purging Things that Separate Us from Him

I recognized the emptiness, cold response to inspirational music, and discontent in my heart.  I had separated myself from God, I could feel it.  It confused my thoughts, hardened my heart, and left me feeling acutely lonely.  I needed to reconnect with God, but what had gone wrong to start with?

Do you ever feel like this?

reconnect with God

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David cries,

Hear, O Lordwhen I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation. Psalm 27:7-9 NKJV

David feels that separation from God again when he pens Psalm 31:22

For I said in my haste,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless, You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You. Psalm 31:22

Do you ever feel as if God is hiding His face from you?  Many people refer to these feelings as spiritually dry.  How do we reconnect with God when we feel spiritually dry?

 

How to Reconnect with God when You Feel Spiritually Dry

So, what do we do when we feel spiritually dry?  How do we reconnect with God?  It is time to purge the things that separate us.  Let’s look at the causes of separation from God.

  • Sin and disobedience
  • Fear
  • Doubt
  • Distractions
  • Life
  • Grief
  • Anger

 

Feeling Far From God Because of Sin

Adam and Eve had it all.  Complete communion with their creator, a world free of pain and suffering, and a perfect environment.  Then they sinned and happily ever after ended.

There are two types of sin.  Those we commit unknowingly and those we choose.

We all must repent of our sinful nature when we come to Christ.  Often times we are unaware of what exactly that means.  We don’t yet recognize the sins that continue to keep us bound until God reveals them to us.

When God brings these to our attention, we are then responsible for them.  Of course, God wishes to purge us from all unrighteousness but we are often bent on doing things our own way.  Enter the constant struggle of the fallen world.

If you are feeling far from God because of sin, God wishes for you to repent and turn from your sin.  Reconnect with God through repentance and remove the sin that has caused the separation.

Sometimes, our sin is not obvious, it is subtle.  I often refer to this as disobedience.  Sure, it is technically the same thing, but it doesn’t sound as bad (perfection issues here).

Disobedience is when we know God is asking us to do something or not do something and we do the opposite.  Jonah is a good example.  God told him to go warn the wicked city of Nineveh of His coming judgment.  What does Jonah do?  He runs in the opposite direction.

God is persistent and will continue to navigate situations so that we come face to face with our disobedience.  In the case of Jonah, God sent a huge storm.  God may not send a storm in your life, but He will allow you to feel uncomfortable with your decision to ignore Him.

One act of disobedience that stands out in my life is God pressing on my heart to forgive someone.  Let me tell you, I was dead set against it.  That person had wronged me multiple times and I was not going to accept that behavior.

I was miserable, not just because unforgiveness makes you miserable anyway, but because I knew God was wanting to heal me from it and I was stubbornly refusing.  Before long, I viewed everything that person did as negative against me.  It nearly ruined our friendship.

It also separated me from God.  I felt spiritually empty.

In order to reconnect with God, I had to repent of the disobedience and stubbornness and then act on what He had told me to do.

The first thing you should do when you sense you are feeling spiritually empty is to examine your life a bit.  Have you fallen into a sin or disobedience?

Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity

And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever,

Because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us,

And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18-19)

 

Fear and Doubt can Separate Us from God

I am going to talk about fear and doubt together because they both show a lack of trust in God.  It is hard to have a relationship with someone you don’t trust, isn’t it?  Whether we are talking about marriage, friendship, or our relationship with our Heavenly Father.  Trust must exist.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8

 

I like how this verse mentions both of the causes of separation that we’ve talked about so far.  “Depart from evil” purge yourself from sin and “trust in the Lord” purge yourself from doubt and fear.

James is a little harsh, implying the seriousness of the matter.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.  (James 1:5-8)

Doubt makes us unstable.  Think about that for a minute.  Not a good place to be.

We have nothing to fear.  God hears us and is beside us. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears  (Psalm 34:4)

 

Distractions

Distractions come in various forms and look different to everyone.  Distractions can come in the form of tv and cell phones, video games and Youtube.  They can come in family drama, social media, and gossip.

When distractions are causing you to dwell in a spiritually dry state, it is time to evaluate what is consuming your thoughts and time.

My 12-year-old is obsessed with a game he plays on his iPad.  I limit his screen time because we all need boundaries, but he thinks about the game, talks about it, and craves time to play it.  This distraction could take him away from his schoolwork, chores, physical activity, and time with the family if I allowed it to.

We, adults, are no different.  We must also set boundaries on the things that distract us from reading God’s word, praying, and following His will for our lives.

If you find yourself dwelling on something, It most likely is the distraction that is causing your separation and needs to be purged.  Reconnect with God by setting boundaries to limit your distraction or removing it altogether.

I confess I had to do this with Facebook.  I had become mentally consumed with it and found I could focus better on important areas of my life when I stayed away from it.

 

Reconnect with God by Giving Him Control of Your Life

Life is a roller coaster, isn’t it?  One day all is well, the next your husband loses his job.  A new bundle of joy is added to your family, you all come down with a stomach bug, your washing machine breaks, you go on a wonderful family vacation, your garden yields dozens of tomatoes all at once and you hustle to preserve.

The chaos never ends.  Add to it the different personalities that make up your family and you’ve got drama.

We can often become overwhelmed with life in general.  For me, I’m a busy homeschooling mom trying to teach my kids, run them to activities, take care of the house and laundry AND feed them what feels like an insane amount of food.

I fall asleep exhausted each night simply because I’ve been on the go from the moment the sun rose.

It is easy to forget about God.  I know that sounds terrible to say out loud, but it happens more than I would like to admit.  Your Bible reading and prayer times are interrupted or you find it impossible to concentrate.

It is also easy to fall into the trap of worrying about your situation.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

So how do we reconnect with God when life (and worries) get in the way?

  • Rejoice in the good and the bad, praising God that He is in control of all things.
  • Pray without ceasing. Every day, all day.
  • In everything give thanks. Make a habit of finding the good in every bad situation and then thank God that He is in control of your life.
  • Listen to inspirational music. This is my favorite.  It helps me focus on God throughout the day, leads me to sincere worship, and lifts my mood.
  • Listen to inspirational podcasts or an audio Bible. Keep your mind focused on God while in the car, washing dishes, or relaxing before bed.
  • Don’t dwell on things you cannot control. I know this is hard, but learning to “let go and let God” will remove stress and all the emotional and physical problems that come with it.
  • Rearrange your schedule to include your quiet time with God. This might mean you meet with God at a different time every day, but I promise if you make an effort, God will too.

 

Grief and Anger

I linked grief and anger together as they are both strong emotions and reactions to hurt.

Grief is isolating.  We often shut out the world around us as a way of protecting ourselves.  I remember lying in bed a couple of weeks after losing my beautiful eight year old daughter.  My husband was begging me to get up.  I snuggled my five-month-old baby and sobbed uncontrollably.  I could hear him repeating, “you have four living children, they need you”.

Strong pain like that will often cause us to hate God.  Yes, I know we should run to Him in time of trouble, but the sad truth is, many of us do not.

I had served God faithfully from a young age.  Why would He take my only daughter?  How could He do that to me?

Often times when we isolate ourselves from other people, we do the same to God.

Anger is similar in that it is consuming.  You may be angry at a person, a situation, or God Himself.  Whichever the case, it will separate you from God.

Paul has quite a bit to say about anger.

Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  (Ephesians 4:26-31)

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.  (Colossians 3:8)

Both of these strong emotions will take time to work through.  Including God in the process is key to healing.  Do not push away the only one who can help you through your pain and frustration.

 

How to GET  Closer to God Again and Reconnect with Him

So, how do we get closer to God and reconnect with Him again?

Pray and be open to the answer.  God will show you what has caused your separation and then it is up to you to purge it from your life.

Take a good look at your situation, including your heart.  Are you harboring sin or anger?  Are you stressing over life situations of which you have no control?  Have you allowed distractions to come between you and God?  Have you allowed your prayer life to suffer?

God is always right here waiting for us to return to HIm.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:38-39)

Have you ever felt disconnected from God?  What helped you?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

 

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