by Pastor Tim Burt
Renee and I will be on a short vacation with some of our children and grandchildren until next week. I'll be back to writing on August 2nd. In the meantime, go back and read some past posts and let God encourage your heart with His timeless Word! We'll be praying for you! ~ Pastor Tim
More often than you would think, someone tells me, I love God but I feel lost. I feel like I've drifted from Him and the love I should feel for the Lord seems cold. What should I do? I'm not sure how I got here and I don't know how to get back to the closeness I felt for the Lord.
Our relationship with God is just that—a relationship. When two people nurture a relationship, it will grow richer in intimacy and love on every level. But, take a relationship for granted and stop nurturing it, and it will deteriorate. But just so you know, in a relationship with the Lord, it will never be His fault because His love toward us and desire to be intimate with us never fails!
David, whom God said had a heart after Him, was even capable of feeling like he had slipped back from the Lord. It can and does happen to any of us. There's a huge clue to the source of this problem in David's cry to God during a time he felt distant. We see it in Psalm 119:176 (NLT) “I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands.” If you pay attention to what David said, he said he wandered away yet he had not forgotten God's commands. That sounds like and oxymoron. That sounds like he didn't do anything wrong! Not having forgotten what God wants and doing them are two different things.
The hypocrites that Jesus continually rebuked didn't forget God's laws. They were teaching them to the people and making sure they lived by them or they would rebuke them. Like David, they hadn't forgotten them but it didn't mean they were doing them. They weren't! We see this in Matthew 23:1-3 (NIV). "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach."
Psalm 119:170. “May my request for help come before you; deliver me according to your promise."
David knew that God promised to help bring him back to the place of intimacy. It was faith in God's promise that made it possible. Secondly, He knew what would refresh his relationship with God. He knew to reflect on all the wonderful things God had done for Him. He knew to praise God for whom He was. He knew to put a song of praise about God in his mouth. He did these things in faith, trusting in God’s love and mercy and willingness to bring him back into a right place. Psalm 119:170-172 (NIV). “May my supplication (request) for help come before you; deliver me according to your promise. May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous."
Thirdly, he knew He needed to obey God—not just know what God said but do it. He knew he needed to quit ignoring God's influence upon his heart. Ignoring God in certain areas of your life will cause you to wander, feel hypocritical, and lest intimate with God.
David knew deep down he was ignoring God. He knew that his affair with Bathsheba was the problem. You better believe God was warning him not to go there. But each time David drifted, he didn't run from God. He ran to God. He sought God's help to restore intimacy and took real action to nurture the relationship as we see in Psalm 119:173-175 (NIV). “May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight. Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.”
When we've strayed, the devil tries to capitalize. He magnifies every act of apathy, disobedience and wrong attitude to condemn us before God. He wants to drive the nail in your coffin and make you feel so guilty, that you'd not dare run back to God. That's his strategy and why we must be like David. Keep running back to God! If you do what David did, and you turn your heart toward God and quit ignoring Him and do the right things you know He wants you do, your feelings of intimacy will return and grow, and the words of Malachi 3:7 will have come to pass for you! “…you have not kept my laws and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you," says the Lord Almighty…”
Follow David's example and do what he did. Have confidence that as you do draw near to God, he'll draw near to you. Don't isolate yourself. Be around the body of Christ. Be around believers and get to church and sit under anointed Bible teaching. God will use these things to speak into your life and encourage you as you nurture your intimacy and refresh your love for the Lord.
James 4:8 (NKJV) " Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..."
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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