Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Feeling Is Not Worship

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Have you ever felt like this? “You wake up one morning and all your spiritual feelings are gone. You pray, but nothing happens. You rebuke the devil, but it doesn’t change anything. You go through spiritual exercises . . . you have your friends pray for you . . . you confess every sin you can imagine, then go around asking forgiveness of everyone you know. You fast . . . still nothing. You begin to wonder how long this spiritual gloom might last. Days? Weeks? Months? Will it ever end? . . . It feels as if your prayers simply bounce off the ceiling. In utter desperation, you cry out, ‘What’s the matter with me?’” (Floyd McClung Jr., Finding Friendship with God; Ann Arbor, MI: Vine Books, 1992; 186).

There are times in the life of a Christ follower when God seems far away, distant. When it happens, a common thought is that He is angry with you, or punishing you for some sin. It’s true there is a disconnect from intimate fellowship with God when we sin. But sin is not always the case. 

Sometimes, the feeling of estrangement is a test of faith. Ask any Christ follower. I don’t know of one who hasn’t felt abandoned in their relationship with God. The question is: Will you love Him, trust Him, obey Him, serve Him, and worship Him even when there is no visible evidence of His work in your life?

Another common mistake among Christ followers is seeking an experience with God that produces feelings instead of seeking God. They look for those experiences, and when and if they happen, their conclusion is, “I’ve really worshipped God today.”

Don’t be fooled. Seeking a feeling, even the feeling of closeness to God, is not worship. Worship happens when in our public, family, and private life — in all of life — we glorify God, feelings notwithstanding. 

I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed. But he knows where I am going. Job 23.8-10a (NLT)

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