I don’t know if the question was real, if it was directed specifically at me, or a set up by another Christian who wanted to know how to counsel someone else. I just know that it is a good question. It came to me as a question on Quora.com.
How did you get close to God again? I’m not sinning, like doing drugs or drinking or swearing, but I get mad easily and don’t feel that connection with God. I’m young and I just want my relationship with God back.
If you are a disciple-maker, questions like this are part of the process. So here is my slightly amended answer.
Do what the early church did. Acts 2:42:
- Devote yourself to the apostles teaching — study the Bible regularly
- Devote yourself to the fellowship — don’t go it alone. We need one another. We need the accountability of the body and we need to share our time and stuff with one another in sacrificial ways.
- Devote yourself to the breaking of bread — again, we need to worship the King together. We need to remember the sacrifice of the cross together with other believers.
- Devote yourself to “the prayers” — the text and most modern translations say “prayers” not “prayer”. The plural is important. Most scholars will say that the meaning is not just to “saying your prayers” or praying and talking to God regularly. The plural has a very specific referent. Either it means the 3x a day pattern of Jewish prayer in the first century or, and more likely, it means they devoted themselves to the prayer book of the Old Testament, the book of Psalms.…….
My own experience is that when my walk with God has grown cold or tepid and dispassionate, doing these things restores my passion and appreciation for the wonders of the gospel and the beauty of my Savior.
Give it time. Doing these things is not a shot of adrenaline. They are exercises for your spirit and will “pay off” over time (just like physical exercise) as you continually make the “devote yourself” investment.
Ask yourself this question, what commands of Christ am I not doing that I know I ought to be doing? Why this question?
- Look at John 14:21
- “He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me, and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and disclose myself to him.”
- Jesus ties further revelation of himself, greater intimacy with himself to our obedience to the commands he has given us.
- Look at Galatians 2:20
- Live your life by faith not by how you feel.
- Train your heart to act on truth revealed not how you feel in the moment.
- Look at John 14:21
Finally, check out your love life? Read Luke 7:38–50, especially verse 47. “He who is forgiven little, loves little.” Whenever we, I, forget how much we have been forgiven our faith will become stale and inconsequential to our lives but when we go back to the cross, when we spend time meditating on how much we have been forgiven, new springs of joy will begin to arise in our hearts.
Praying for you and myself, that both of us would do these things whenever a chill wind blows through our hearts.
Maybe this can be a tool or model for how you will deal with similar questions.