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I just finished giving my 2 cents on "Why can't I feel God's presence? I know he is with me.
When it comes to feeling God, I am with you. I wish I could "feel" him more. I know I am not an exception, but I think I am more sensory and emotional in how I was created so I enjoy feelings a lot and they have a profound effect on how I respond to God. I know God has created all of us that way somehow, with emotional needs. I find myself longing for a "feeling" of closeness with God and I love when I “feel” close to him. But I wonder if that can become dangerous. Usually my “feeling” of God is connected to something I have experienced like music, a film, and time with my family, silence, a creative space,
or beautiful place. Sometimes feeling close to God also is a result of things I am doing (obedience, character growth, serving), and the opposite is true, also. I don’t feel close to God when I’m in disobedience, lazy, and selfish).
But I think we must be careful in trying to seek out feelings to measure God’s closeness to us. I don't see much in scripture when it comes to "feeling God," but there are some truths that I could share with you that encourage me when I am discouraged with how I “feel.” I think of when Jesus told Thomas (the doubter), "Blessed are those who believe with out seeing." John 20:28-30. Thomas only believed Jesus had risen from the dead once he saw. Jesus pointed to what we think as being a crucial element in our faith journey. I had a counselor one time tell me that Paul told the Colossians in chapter 3 to use their mind to think about things above.” So when I felt lonely, far from God, or lacked “that feeling,” I could use my “holy imagination,” according to my counselor.
I thought it was great wisdom. So, now when I don’t feel God, I remind myself of God’s truth from scripture and picture Him close to me. Most of the times these God pictures are of parent/child moments that I long for or have experienced in my life with my own parents or with my own kids. One time I had a picture of God’s closeness in the form of a coach (and I am the farthest things from a jock). All that to day that we really are called to utilize our mind, the way we think will affect the way we feel. I’m certain of this in my marriage (see this post) and my friendships with human beings I see and touch, so it is for sure true with how feel with God, whom I cannot see or touch. We think when we don't feel God, and then he must not be there with us. But think about how James tells his readers to draw near to God and he will draw near to us. There’s something mystical to be said about our relationship with God and we are also responsible to act in our relationship with God. We shouldn't just sit and wait for God to come near to us; although he already is we must acknowledge him and seek him, too. With that said, I don’t think there is anything wrong with simply asking God that you might feel him. (Matthew 7: 7-11 says ask, because God’s a good Father who likes to give his kids good things). Just be read for his answer. He may tell you to trust and obey him (Psalm 37:3-6), or to rely on his love that his grace is enough (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). But I’d simply encourage you to ask for more of his presence in your life, more awareness of his closeness to you. I hope you will be surprised by what happens, and whatever happens, may you choose to praise him no matter what, for God loves you and those he loves will lack no good thing (Psalm 34).
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God's a good father who loves to give his kids good things. Matthew 7.