Feeling distant from God often feels like walking through a desert. I know I have been in the desert, and I am sure you have had seasons of your walk in the dryness. It is now the month of April, and usually, this month of spring brings with it nourishing rain and the budding of trees and the arrival of God’s beautiful array of spring flowers. The reality of your spring may be quite different from others if you find yourself in the desert not knowing where to go, your GPS is not working, and your water bottle is bone dry. You are not alone, my friend. God is ever-present with you day and night.
What leads us into the desert?
- “The Accuser” – otherwise known as the devil whispering in your ear telling you lies.
- Listening to “deception” from sources other than God.
- Having the wrong priorities.
- Unconfessed sin.
- Offenses to God’s commandments and His will.
- Lack of devotion to God.
- Dark days of living in an “earthly manner.”
Look over this list of seven primary reasons you are in this desert. What have you fallen prey to recently or for a season?
Let’s look at how you can counter each of the seven items listed above.
- When the accuser whispers in your ear, ask yourself if what you hear is something your Heavenly Father would say to you, and test it against scripture. You will find out quickly that this is not from God. Banish the accuser from your life in prayer immediately.
- Who are you listening to in your life? Who are you listening to? If your sources of information are not from a Godly, trusted source speaking truth, then tune those out and tune in truth.
- God is very specific about “Have no other gods [little “g”] before me!” What does this mean? It simply means anything you put as #1 on your list is not putting God first in all things. If you get up each morning and reach for your phone or computer, that is putting those things before God.
- We need to start and end our day by confessing our sins. Even throughout the day, when you realize you have sinned, you need to confess it then and there. Keep your accounts short with God. The consequences are severe if you do not confess your sin.
- If you are a Christian, it is imperative that you read and study your Bible and know what God expects of each believer. You cannot obey if you are not in His word daily. Much of what is accepted in society today in 2022 is directly against God’s commandments and His will. You might be surprised how far we as a society have fallen away from God.
- If you feel like you are in the desert and far from God, most likely, you do not know what it means to be “devoted” to God. Devotion is living and breathing God in everything you do. If you are a mom, then you know what devotion means to have a newborn baby who depends on you for all of its needs 24-7-365. Devotion to God is the same. We need to think about how we think, how we act, and what we say and do with respect to representing God as a Christian here in our daily lives. Are we aligned with His will, His thinking, His commandments, and precepts>
- Sometimes we have slipped into the sin of worldly living. It is so easy to do, and we are great at justifying why we are living this way. God doesn’t see it this way at all. He is Holy, and we are to live up to the standards He set forth for believers. It would be easy to say, “Just Stop It” – but in reality, it is harder to just stop. We must make conscientious decisions on an item-by-item basis, confess the sin of living worldly and turn and change our ways.
The next question here to ponder is this: “How do I move into a closer intimate relationship with God?” Look at the list provided below and ask yourself where or what am I missing in my life and start there. Then, one by one, begin to put the next item into your daily life. What you will find is that the things that put you in the desert in the first place will be replaced with nourishing spring rain and flowers blooming in your life.
- Worship God in your comings and goings
- Sing Praises and listen to Praise music
- Give praise freely to others and expect nothing in return
- Put God 1st when you are making a decision to do something
- Get your “Vertical Relationship” in order and check yourself daily
- Confess my sin as soon as I am aware of it
- Understand when God is testing you to hone you as silver
- Turn from sinful ways
- Cry Out to God
- Serve others with nothing expected in return
- Get into a Bible Study
- Lean on Him/Depend on Him all-day
- Be humble
- Pray about everything
- Attend Church every week
- Tithe [everything you have comes from God and God owns all the money present now and forever.]
- Pray the promises in the Bible
- Pray scripture back to God
- Produce Fruit
- Give vengeance to God, He is the judge not you
- Live as if “Today could be the day Christ takes Believers up to Himself”
- Listen for His still small voice speaking to you. If you do all the talking, you will never hear Him.
- Observe and understand God’s promises in the Bible. When God says “I WILL” this is one of His promises.
- Do not judge others.
- Do not gossip about others.
- Do not demean others
- Pray for the removal of strongholds in yourself and others you are judging.
I can just hear you now – “Are you kidding me? This is more than I can handle or even know what to do first!” Yep, I know, and learning these things takes time. God doesn’t expect you to be perfect; only He is perfect. What He does expect is for you to learn and live as He has commanded and the only way to do this is to be a true lifelong learner and be in His word every day and pray.
The bad habits that put you in this desert can be reversed. They can be reversed by turning in the other direction and turning toward the Light of God. I do have a promise for you. You can be certain that when you TURN and begin to follow God, all those people who were in the desert with you will simply look for someone else to drag into the desert with them; they will not miss you. God will be right there to welcome you into His loving arms with grace.