Everyone goes through periods in their spiritual life where they feel distant from God. I don’t want you to feel like you’re alone in this. One particular time for me was last fall. I’d worked at the local Bible camp all summer, saturated in God’s strength and community. I knew from experience that it would be very easy to lose my thirst for spending time in the Word and in prayer when I went back to school in the fall, so I made a plan. I was deliberate and intentional about spending time with God and talking about Him with my Christian friends. I made it through September feeling even closer to Christ.
“Yes!” I thought, “I made it through camp detox without losing my intimacy with God!”
Then as October was coming to a close, I realized that I hadn’t really talked to God at all since then. I didn’t know anything was wrong until one day I heard myself swear after dropping a pencil. My close friend heard, and called me out on it. I was surprised at how defensive I became.
My standard of language was always something I’d been particularly sensitive about, and here I was cursing because my pencil had rolled off the table. What did that say about the state of my heart?
Just a month earlier, I’d treasured the Holy Spirit’s guidance. But as I grew closer to God, He began working to change my heart. Honestly, I’d asked Him to, but it hurt more than I’d expected. I had to give up some things I enjoyed because they didn’t fit to His standard for me. Finally, I’d unconsciously decided I’d done enough for the time being, and backed off in my pursuit of Him. (My dad teases me about being a commitment-phobe… Maybe he’s more right than he realizes).
It didn’t take long for my heart to back track, for me to pursue selfish desires and push aside that little voice calling out to me. While I felt guilty about some things initially, it didn’t take long to numb myself to that.
Let me be perfectly honest right here-I am a MUCH nicer person when I’m pursuing intimacy with God and listening to the Holy Spirit.
I woke up and began pursuing once again. It’s taken months for me to regain the ground I lost in my relationship with Christ, but now I find myself on the brink of something big. I’m pursuing God and asking hard questions and loving it. But then when opportunities come up to step out, I’m still finding it scary and difficult.
There’s just something still holding me back when I could be jumping.
It feels very similar to when I’ve gone cliff jumping, or off jungle swings. My heart wants to step out and just go, but every time I tell myself I will, my body doesn’t obey. I know in those physical things I don’t allow myself to not do it. No matter how long I stand there at the edge, walking back down to safe ground is not an option. I’m up there to jump, and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m wondering how long it’s going to take me to stand at the edge of jumping in my faith… Especially with university starting and my focus shifting somewhat.
What holds you back from jumping off the edge?