Author: Drew Roe
Have you ever had one of those moments where you felt as if you weren’t connecting with God in the intimate, life-altering sense that it’s supposed to happen, and then suddenly you detect that He is so near, you wonder how you ever could have missed Him?
This happened to me recently. My time reading the Bible was feeling like a chore, and my prayer life felt like I was just checking something off a list. I felt like I was going through the physical motions of being a Christian, but without sensing the spiritual backup from God. It was as if these times weren’t really serving a purpose. I think that this is especially common for those of us who were raised as Christians, or who have been believers for a very long time. We have been taught since birth the importance of daily prayer and Bible study, and it’s easy to become complacent with these things. We do them, but not because we are remembering to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” (Matthew 22:37, ESV). Instead we are just doing our usual, daily routine.
After a time in the spiritual desert, so to speak, a verse came back to my mind that I have known since I was 17.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
That verse was such a powerful reminder to me. I don’t meditate on it constantly, but those times I have, it has served as an amazing guide, always bringing me back to the root of my faith and my love for God. After reading it, I sat down, and engaged in some of the most powerful prayer time I have ever experienced. As I poured my heart out to God, confessed my sins, asked Him to be my guide, and told Him that I wanted to be on His side, not bring Him over to my side (Joshua 5:13-15), it was as if a spiritual flood came in and washed away the desert in which I had been wandering.
Day-to-day, it is so easy to allow our spiritual selves to take a back seat to our “normal” lives. We have jobs, family obligations, church responsibilities, extracurricular activities, school assignments, and so much more, that can all distract us from our spiritual lives.
Or, they can serve as a launch pad for diving deeper into our relationship with Christ. Who am I going to serve today? The gods of a good career, education, income, or societal status? Or am I going to use each of those as a way in which to better serve and honor the Lord? As it says in the oft-quoted Joshua 24:15: “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
I definitely understand the struggle of having daily responsibilities that seem overwhelming, and feeling as if they distract us from our daily walk with Christ. My prayer is that they do not continually have that effect on us, but instead that we choose, as He instructed Jeremiah, to “seek [Him] with all our heart[s].”