God’s Unchanging Presence

How to Feel Close to God Beyond the Emotional Peaks

It’s not uncommon to feel disconnected from God, or even your close circle of friends during the deepest and most painful moments you face. But contemporary Christian artists, Caleb, Jordan and Josh Ward of Consumed by Fire recently shared in a conversation with Family Life Radio how moments of deep spiritual connection or encounters with God are not only possible but can be transformative through the pain, marking significant points in our spiritual journey.

Growing Up with Faith

“We’ve grown up in the things of the Lord,” Jordan began, “Our dad would say, ‘Boys, you’re going to see me miss it. You’re going to see me blow it. Yeah, I’m going to be wrong sometimes, and you’re going to see Daddy screw up. But every time you do, I hope you notice I’m going to run back to the Word of God. I’m going to run back to the arms of Jesus because we’re not perfect. We might fall down, but we don’t stay there.’ He would teach us those principles and thankfully, I think they did stick with us in that sense.”

Their father’s candid words laid the foundation for the three brothers of Consumed by Fire to share an unwavering faith. It may remind you of Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), where the father’s open arms to his returning son illustrate God’s endless grace and forgiveness.

Like the Ward brothers, you might find solace in knowing that your relationship with God isn’t predicated on perfection but on persistence and faith. The lessons of humility and resilience they learned early on can serve as a guiding light for your path, especially in moments of doubt.

Jordan continues, “We might have moments where we ticked off or whatever, but we’ve never aimed that at the Lord. I’m grateful for that. I think understanding that God is a good God kept us from doing that. So, we’re very blessed in that way – of always understanding the heart of the father and that he’s not the source of every bad thing … I think that kept us in a way, especially in our most trying seasons.”

The Misconception of Distance from God

“I can be broken hearted and still know that God’s in there. I think it’s important to know that too.” Jordan’s words dismantle the myth that pain or sorrow equals separation from God.

In fact, the Bible reassures us, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 NIV).

God’s presence isn’t diminished by our struggles; rather, it’s in our most vulnerable moments that His proximity becomes our refuge.

Consumed by Fire’s conversation with us invites you to view your trials through a lens of faith, understanding that God’s nearness isn’t conditional on your emotional state. Like the psalmist David and the prophet Jeremiah, you too can find comfort in knowing that even in despair, God is an ever-present help.

Consumed by Fire

Persisting Beyond the “Goosebumps”

Caleb shared, “You got to keep on going even when you don’t feel the goosebumps.” It’s not always about the mountaintop moments; it’s also about the valleys and the mundane plains.

The biblical account of Elijah’s encounter with God (1 Kings 19:11-13) illustrates this beautifully. God wasn’t in the wind, earthquake, or fire but in the gentle whisper. God’s presence isn’t always felt in grandiose displays but often in the quiet, subtle moments of our lives.

So, when you’re feeling spiritually exhausted or distant, remember that faith is a journey of perseverance. It’s about continuing to seek God, even when the emotional highs are absent.

Encountering God in the Struggle

God’s truths can reignite our passion and purpose, even when we feel like giving up. Caleb referenced Jeremiah 20:9, where Jeremiah said, ” If I say, I will not make mention of [the Lord] or speak any more in His name, in my mind and heart it is as if there were a burning fire shut up in my bones. And I am weary of enduring and holding it in; I cannot [contain it any longer]” (AMPC).

It’s the inextinguishable nature of God’s Word within us, compelling us to speak and act even in adversity.

If you find yourself in a season of struggle, you can lean into God’s nearness and open His Word which offers the strength and renewal you desperately seek. God’s presence is a constant source of comfort and guidance, even when the path ahead seems unclear.

Journey Back to Fellowship

The lack of fellowship with God eventually leads to a noticeable sense of emptiness and misery. Jordan shared, “The most miserable person on the face of the earth is the believer that is out of fellowship because they just keep ignoring that prompting and the leading. … They know the truth.”

God yearns for fellowship with each of us and goes to great lengths to restore that connection. If you’re feeling out of touch with God, consider this your invitation to respond to His prompting. The journey back to fellowship requires surrender, but it’s in surrender that you find true peace and joy.

God’s Everlasting Presence

God never leaves us. This promise is a cornerstone of faith, offering hope and comfort as we navigate the complexities of life. “You’ll never, ever, ever under any circumstance leave you or abandon you,” Jordan reiterated, echoing the promise found in Hebrews 13:5, ensuring us of God’s unending presence.

Take a few months and reflect:

  • When have you felt God’s presence most acutely in your life?
  • How have you navigated seasons of doubt or despair?
  • Your experiences can offer hope to others.

In the ups and downs, the highs and lows, let’s hold fast to the promise of God’s eternal presence. Together, we can navigate the complexities of life, anchored by our unwavering faith in a God who never leaves us.

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