I Want To Know God But Feel So Stale

amazeofgrace asked:

I’ve been struggling forever with really wanting God more than I want anything in life. I’ve been honest with Him and have been asking Him for that desire and longing for Him and I’ve been asking to fall in love with Him but I’m still blah. I know He has so much for me and even more importantly I am quite cognizant of the fact that my life is meaningless without God at the center; I have no purpose apart from my Creator. I truly desire to DESIRE Him…but this dissonance is heartbreaking.

Please allow me the grace to be real about this: but you’re totally not alone here in what’s happening. You’re my kind of sister — honest, vulnerable, trying.  Let’s hug that out.

Most Christians don’t want to say that their spiritual walk looks JUST like what you described, even worse than they’ll ever admit.  This doesn’t make you “second-class” or “doomed to ordinary.”  In fact I’ll dare to say: the fact that you care about it this much says more for you than most lukewarm, half-hearted stragglers.  I don’t mean to categorize.  Just saying that you’re in the appropriate place here.  Your heart is tender to Him.

Let’s be aware of two things that are happening.

1) You might have set an unreasonable, unrealistic expectation for the way things go.  Not everyday with Jesus is a super rockstar magic show on the mountaintop of religious high. Many times, the valley looms.

Even after Elijah had a supreme victory over hundreds of false prophets (1 Kings 18), he begged God to roll him over.  His exact words: “I have had enough, Lord … Take my life.” Who has never felt like this?  That’s what I thought.

In all likelihood, you’re experiencing a season.  Please don’t determine the quality of your entire spiritual journey off like 4% of your spiritual walk.  Maybe God Himself is being a bit silent.  That happens; He’s still there.  While your feelings are yelling lies at you, there must be a choice to prioritize truth.  Truth before feelings.  God is still there.

Notice the psalmist’s prayer in Psalm 42 — Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

His soul feels “ugh” but he literally preaches the truth at it.  Sometimes you got to preach it to yourself.  Your soul gets out of control because, of course, we’re human.  Give it a dose of truth.  And even if your soul stays downcast, praise God anyway.  A breakthrough is just around the corner of this season.  ALL seasons pass.

2) One of the tricky things about self-pity is that you end up feeling bad about feeling bad.  Then you feel bad about feeling about bad about — you get it. It’s one of Satan’s clever little tricks.  The devil knows what he’s doing.

You’ll have to “nip it in the bud.”  Cut the lies quickly.  A cycle will overwhelm.  And the thing is you KNOW the truth. You already know God is the center, you know His purposes are good, you know he loves you.  Don’t revel in what is missing there; just revel in that you know this much.  You’re doing better than you think.  You’re doing great. 

I’d like to add: Your desire to want Him amidst all this is truly awesome.  Please don’t hurt yourself by setting the bar so high.  Many guilt-driven preachers do this to their people, and so a Jesus-loving church ends up feeling inadequate and fearful that they’re not good enough. 

God loves you regardless of “good enough.”  God alone is good.  That should allow you to just rest.  When you quit focusing on how to get better, you get better: the same way when you stop trying to make a good impression, you make a good impression.  Rest in God’s grace, and sure enough, His grace will heal.  It may be a tough season, but that’s all it is: a season.  Persevere.  Pray, praise, and soak up the Bible.  You’ll emerge stronger.

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