When I Don’t Feel God’s Presence

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A couple of days ago, I received an email from a precious woman. She is struggling with God’s love for her. She is struggling with darkness and a lack of God’s presence. Therefore, I felt compelled to write this post especially for her, as I am a woman just like her.

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I remember when it happened years ago.

Words whispered in the dark, beyond listening ears.

Cold words stuck like glue until I believed they were true.

Abuse from this relationship, indescribable.

Words tossed about, unimaginable.

But I walked away from God. I made mistakes. I tripped over my own sin and plummeted into darkness because his lies spoke louder than God’s love.

I believed a lie about God. I believed a lie about me.

Did God even love me?

If He did, I didn’t feel it.

God’s love seemed like a distant child-hood memory. His warmth, detached. His hand removed. Or that’s how it seemed.

One day a friend spoke truth, the piercing kind…

“You say, ‘I feel like this, I feel like that.’ Maybe replace the “feel” with “know,” she explained.

And so it is with God.

Sometimes We Don’t Feel God’s Presence but we know He loves us. We know this because the Bible tells us.

“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,” Psalm 23:6.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,” Ephesians 2:19.

“I love those who love me and those who seek me will find me,” Proverbs 8:17.

“If anyone serves me, let him hear me. For where I am there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me, Him my Father will honor,” John 12:26.

“My heart has heard you say Come and talk with me! My heart responds, Lord I am coming,” Psalm 27:8.

“I have written your name on the palm of my hand” (Isaiah 49:16); “I will never forget you, would I forget a nursing child? Never!” “He will call me by name because I am His!” (Isaiah 43:1).

Years later, I hide these verses in my heart.

So when I don’t feel God, I know He’s there.

By doing this, I allow emotion to piggy-back on truth instead of emotion dragging truth through the mud.

When the Disconnect Happens I Ask Myself a Series of Questions.

Am I in regular study of God’s Word?

Am I confessing all un-repented sin?

Am I praying and listening for God’s voice daily?

Am I intentional about sharing the Gospel, making disciples?

Am I fasting from things that stand in the way of my relationship with Christ?

Am I standing in awe of the cross?

The Answer to Knowing God’s True Feelings is found in the Message of the Cross.

Jesus walked out of heaven and announced his love for us. He lived a life we could never live. He died a death we deserved to die. He incurred the wrath of God against sin, rose from the dead to put God’s life back inside of us. If that doesn’t show radical, scandalous love, I don’t know what does!

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So if today finds you feeling disconnected from God, plug into His Word ~ step into His light ~pick up your cross ~ and follow hard after Him.  And keep doing it because obedience is pleasing to God.

I don’t have all the answers.

But I am a woman who has been in a dark place too.

I am a woman who has believed the worst about herself.

But…

I am also a woman who believes God’s Word ~ a woman who believes what God thinks about me ~ a woman who fights for her joy when there is none ~ a woman who rejects the Devils ploy to make her doubt God~ a woman who has learned (the hard way) to walk daily with her Savior so she can recognize His voice…so she knows what to do and where to go.

God didn’t promise this life would be easy or that following Him would be either. What he did promise was He would be with us, never leaving, never forsaking.

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