Ask Dr. Stanley: Why don’t I feel connected to God?
When He feels far away, you might be overlooking the very door He’s inviting you to open
Q: I try very hard to do the things God asks of His followers, like spending time with Him every day in prayer, reading the Bible, and going to church. But somehow I don’t feel the closeness with God that other Christians talk about. What could be preventing that?
A: First, let me commend you for obeying those things that you recognize as the Lord’s instructions for His children. He values obedience because it demonstrates a believer’s trust and love for Him (John 14:15). For this reason, spending time regularly in the Word and in prayer is an important step toward having the close connection with God that you crave.
But keep in mind that to cultivate strong bonds in any relationship, we must get to know what the other person is like and which things matter to him or her. That doesn’t happen quickly or unintentionally; it takes time and deliberate effort to understand someone else’s thoughts and motivations.
The same holds true in our relationship with God. So tell the Lord that you long for closeness with Him. And as you begin your time of prayer or Scripture reading, be sure to ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your thoughts with His insights.
Also keep in mind that if something in your life is thwarting your relationship with the Lord, it must be identified and corrected before a deeper bond can develop. Because God is most interested in our being conformed to His likeness, He will show us things about ourselves that we’d rather not see: He reveals sin so we can cooperate with Him while He roots it out. As godly conduct replaces old self-focused behavior patterns, we will walk in increasing intimacy with our Creator.
So continue studying Scripture, talking with God, and attending church. But also make a regular habit of inviting the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin and teach you about your heavenly Father (John 14:26; John 16:8). In time, you will be enjoying true, satisfying fellowship with almighty God.
For more questions and answers, tune in to In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley each week (check local listings)—or visit Ask Dr. Stanley.