It’s the last night of youth camp, and there’s about to be a bonfire, which is good because now you’ll have a place to throw the sheet of paper where you wrote down all your regrets. If you grew up in church, going to camps, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you didn’t, think of a moment when you felt as if God was closer to you than He’d ever been. You might have felt something emotional, physical, or even felt like you heard something from Him. Maybe you read something in the Bible and felt like it was written to you or just noticed what seemed like God’s intervention in your life. Maybe you had experiences with God when you were young, and now you’re wondering, “Why can’t I feel God anymore?”
I don’t go to youth camps anymore, but I still have moments where I just know, without a doubt, that I am experiencing the guidance, grace, love, and peace of God. I also have Monday mornings, car accidents, bills, funerals, plumbing issues, and all sorts of moments where I don’t “feel” God at all. Should we always have an undeniable and tangible awareness of God? Is life just the pursuit of happiness through holy goosebumps? I think loving God and serving Him has a lot more to do with this:
… the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NLT
Here are 7 Ideas For When You’re All Like, “Why Can’t I Feel God Anymore?”
1. Decide what you believe. The rest of these ideas assume you hold some belief in God. God asks for faith which defies the requirement for a burden of proof. Faith believes in something you cannot see. Kind of like we decide to believe many of the scientific theories we base our daily life on. We don’t have absolute proof of quantum physics or even gravity, but we bridge the gap with some faith. Is this something you want to do? You have to decide. I will tell you it’s the deepest, yet simplest, and best decision I’ve ever made (and keep making).
2. Tell Him why you like Him around. Take some time to point out all the reasons why you’re thankful for God’s character and provision in your life. If you want to get real crazy, make a list and put it somewhere like your fridge, mirror, or home screen.
3. Do something He did. I live halfway across the country from most of my family. One thing I do when I miss them is cook a meal, visit a place, or do an activity they’d normally do. It connects us. Same with God. He cares for the sick, visits the lonely, frees the oppressed, gives irrationally, and creates imaginatively. Next time you miss Him, try doing something He would do.
4. Find something He made. There’s nothing quite like a clear creek, mountain, beach, rolling plain, beautiful flower, or stunning animal to remind you of what God is like. Next time you can’t feel Him, get your hands on something He made.
5. Read something He said. Some of my favorite Scriptures are in red (Jesus’ words) or start with something like, “God said …” If you want to sense His feelings for you, go read His words. Try this one from Jesus, “… And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 NLT
6. Ask Him to come. We don’t need tingles to experience God’s presence. Try asking God to reveal Himself to you. Give Him permission to do it however He pleases.
7. Talk with Him like He’s there. Because He is. Your feelings of God’s absence don’t change the truth of His presence. His Word says He will never abandon us (Deuteronomy 31:6) and we should never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17).