In my time as a follower of Christ I find it pretty laughable that the hardest thing or the thing that has caused me to struggle the most has been to feel a sense of connection to God. Isn’t that weird? Like if I am in relationship with Him, shouldn’t that be the easiest thing? Seriously, do you know how crazy it is that we could be Christians for 5+, 10+, 20+ years and all the while find it extremely difficult to just simply feel connected to the guy we’ve been following all these years.
I believe it can’t be just me feeling this. I think it’s something you, whoever in the world you may be reading this, have also struggled to truly feel connected to God on a daily basis. You might even possibly have had the same thoughts I did: “Why don’t I feel like I get anything out of reading the Bible?” “Why do I feel like I never really learned how to pray?” And these questions are worthy ones. Don’t feel like you are insane for thinking this! PLEASE! Because it’s extremely easy to understand the truth about God, to comprehend the consequences of what it would mean to follow Him, to choose to do so with the right heart, all while NEVER having actually learned how to connect with him. So, if you are in this current position then how do we truly learn to connect with God?
I could tell you what to do for yourself, but I don’t claim to know who you are or what you need exactly. So, instead, I’ll tell you my story. It begins as I realized that my entire relationship with God had been built upon people; seeking more value from a position of leadership, acts of discipleship, and a relationship with a woman than I did from God. I sat in my room feeling empty, questioning a lot of things. It wasn’t as if something hit my head and I was like, “OH! This is it!” But it had been a long thought out plan that God had been working on me with. That previous summer I was able to be in an MTA (Ministry Training Academy) class all about Spiritual Disciplines/Formation.
At the time, I was mega intrigued by all the ideas and things I had never heard much about before. Things like meditation, stillness, resting in God, breathing prayers, and much more. I picked up a book for it, but had never read it, so I figured what better way to try and understand this stuff than to begin there. It was called “Satisfy Your Soul,” and let me tell you this book began to totally transform my walk with God! It spoke of things I had never even thought of or heard of before, but they were simple truths. It taught me of how God’s grace was meant to be something accessed throughout my life, not just at a single transaction in my baptism. It taught me to learn certain practices and disciplines and led me on a path of discovery I had never attempted before. To learn to know God intimately. By the means of learning, for the first time really, how to live off of His word, to learn to be in contemplation, to have spiritual coaches, to learn from the ancients of Christianity and their wisdom. Many lessons were learned through this book, but what was more is it opened my eyes to a world previously unknown to me!
This started me down a path that I never thought to be on in finding God and experiencing God through his wonderful creation, through the acts of meditation, through the still moments, and through adventure. It created in me a desire to truly look for God in everything and every place. He becomes much more evident when we simply choose to look. That summer I fell in love with hiking and each hike was not just for the view, it was to be in nature, in creation, with the Creator himself. I learned that as I walked through creation a piece of me came alive that I had never realized before.
What is that piece for you? Seek it out! Find what it is that really helps you feel connected to God, our Creator. It takes exploration to really discover what that thing is, but just start by being willing to try random things that you love or think you could love in combination with your spiritual journey! See what happens!