“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 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. Then you must understand what your pathway to God is. Everyone feels close to God doing different things and at different times. For some it is when they are reading His word, serving others, worshipping and praising His name, marveling at His creation, and some feel closest to Him in solitude when all distractions have been removed or 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 and since 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 other major pathways in other people’s lives.
There is something so supernatural about feeling close to God and 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 an intellectual pathway and draw closer to God as you learn more about Him or you are any of the other major pathways, the most important thing for you to discover is how you connect and feel closest to God. He made each of us different for a reason and because there are many parts to the body, it’s when they work together they have the greatest impact.
I feel closest to God when I am praising and worshipping Him and in close second when I am writing about the greatness of 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 waiving her flag of freedom. It’s when I praise God and write that I can feel something inside me being 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 and once you have 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. You must realize their pathway 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, there are many other ways to connect with God and 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.