I had a conversation once, with a former classmate of mine.We were about to eat lunch and she asked me if I was going to pray or bless my food. I was embarrassed because I was starving and started to eat. And truth be told, I don't always remember. So I blessed the food, QUICKLY. When I was done, I was baffled: she hadn't blessed hers. She stated that she wasn't going to because she didn't believe in God anymore, but didn't want me to feel awkward. This was why I liked her. She was thoughtful. More thoughtful than I, for sure. But it was the beginning of a very enlightening conversation. And the ultimate source of her disbelief? Hurt and abuse by someone in the church.
In the five years since that day, I've met, heard of, or read online comments from people who've cited similar reasoning. And I also had my own reasoning. Have you ever wondered why your relationship with Jesus has gone lukewarm or cold? Or has become non-existent? The reasons vary from person to person. But there are five reasons I’d like to discuss today: are Impatience, Disappointment, Everything, Abuse and Sin or IDEAS.
The Five Reasons You May Not Be Feeling Jesus Are:
1. IMPATIENCE. Impatience to check off the items on Life’s Goodies List can create distance between God and His children. After waiting for a "long time," it’s easy to turn away when that spouse hasn’t shown up. Or the kids’ tuition is due and we’re already behind a mortgage payment - and both are due at the same time. So we “do what we have to do” and find ourselves in an even worse predicament or steeped in sin - which turns us away from God.
2. DISAPPOINTMENT. Sometimes, we pray for someone’s recovery, but they leave us. Or we get the person we’ve been waiting for, but it doesn’t work out. Or like Job, we have lost everything. There’s a reason Job is in the Bible. He was ridiculously strong in faith. And well, sometimes, we aren’t. It can be difficult to accept that God would do this to us, whom He loves. In addition, if we feel we’ve lived by God’s standard, resentment towards God can set in, too.
3. EVERYTHING. It’s not that everything turns us away from God. It’s that we have everything we’ve ever needed. The house, the kids, the cars, the clothes, the money, the career, the friends, the thousands of Instagram followers with whom we can share it all. What need do I have for God? And if I do acknowledge Him, might He ask me to give it all up for Him?
4. ABUSE. No one, whether they believe in Jesus or not, expects to be abused. Not healthy adults, and surely not children. Children come into this world, by no decision of their own and find themselves hurt at the hands of adults – who sometimes believe in Jesus. Sometimes, the adults are their parents, caregivers at school or church, or it’s a stranger. Sometimes it’s a violent encounter (sexual or non-sexual in nature), razor sharp words, or neglect. And if you’ve felt you’ve been dealt this hand and wondered why Jesus did not protect you, especially during your childhood, your heart can turn cold.
5. SIN. You want to do what you want to do to please your flesh and all God is going to do is get in the way.
The reasons or IDEAS are based on our desire to have what we believe we deserve, or are owed. And to keep it. As humans, one of our basic needs is safety, while we are also prone to desire and seek comfort and pleasure. So when we don’t have it or see an obstacle to it, the separation ensues.
And so we clock out. We know He’s called us to do something, but we’re afraid. We’re impatient, so we don’t believe or fall into sin. We think He’s mad with us for that sin, so we hide. We are hurt and in chronic mental, emotional, and /or physical pain. We question God and find that there is no room for Jesus at this inn.
Pain can be debilitating, manifesting itself in hatred, anger, distrust, and insecurity which makes us feel difficult to love. It’s not easy to come back from this.
But it’s possible.
The beauty of Christ is that as it says in Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” So no matter how far we’ve run or how much we’ve closed off our hearts to Jesus, He’s still there. He knows our disappointments. He knows our dire circumstances and desperate choices. He knows our fears and frailties. He knows the scars we bear. And if anyone can empathize, it’s Jesus.
And He loves us just like that – flaws and scars. Even better, He is always right there. Sometimes He calls out to us, sometimes He’s silent. And at all times, He is waiting to be invited (back into) into our hearts.
If you’re not sure of how to get back in relationship with Jesus, there are seven steps that I list and explain in detail in my book, “Confessions of a Faithful Slacker: 7 Steps to Renewing Your Relationship with Christ.”
It’s not a complex book. It’s simple step-by-step where I share the distance I’ve felt between us and how it came about; delve into how we sometimes block God from our lives, and how to go about getting our relationship with Him back intact. I don’t want to give too much away, but I can share this: the depth of your relationship with Christ is dependent on the steps you take towards Him. You can have a surface relationship which is meh. Or you can seek Him wholeheartedly, and the relationship will grow.
He has been known to chase after us, sending signs and people to get our attention. That random commercial that seemed to speak directly to your situation was not an accident. Consider the fact that you are reading this right now is by Divine design.
Your pain is real. Your disappointment is real. His love is real. And it heals.
But it’s a process.
He loves you unconditionally. And He wants you back.
Go HERE to get your e-book or paperback copy today.