Some of you are hanging on to God by a fingernail.
Maybe you started your quiet struggle years ago and each year, you accidentally added another brick to the wall between you and God. All the while, you continued living the cultural Christian life while your heart gradually closed itself to God.
Years later, you look like the same Christian, but you are a silent decade of numbness away from the Father.
How did you get here? What do you do? You come back. You run home to God. It’s not too late.
1. You can know much about God and fail to know God. Unfortunately knowing about God and knowing God can “look” similar for years, maybe decades. But it will not look similar when the storm comes. Knowing about God will never be enough to carry you through pain. God’s presence will.
2. When you’re more concerned with how your faith looks to others than how your heart looks to God, be very nervous. You may be able to manage the duplicity for a while, but eventually the gap between how your faith looks & what your faith is may swallow you.
Make no mistake: Your fraud is not God’s fraud. Your faith may feel fake. God was never fake. If you look up and realize you’re a sham, it may feel temporarily relieving to induce God is equally a sham. The enemy must love this. It’s the ultimate near-miss. We almost got to know Jesus, but instead we just tried to merely “look” like Him and after a while, that got empty. How often do we kiss the cross and fail to ever kiss Jesus?
3. It was never meant to be a checklist; it’s always been a relationship. This should be fire in your soul. Did you hear that? Christ has set you free from this.
As a Christian writer, I struggle with my spiritual appearance and when I sense this dissonance in me, I know it’s time to take a step back & hustle home to God. He knows when I‘ve hid, and He stands ready to forgive & rehabilitate me. Come home.
4. Quietly swallowing hard questions feels less exhausting than wrestling, but it can lead to spiritual death. Some of you started hearing tough, weighty questions about God years ago, but maybe felt it was too big of a mess or too much work or too shameful to unpack. You looked up years later, and you’re accidentally dead inside.
Friend, it’s not too late to admit this happened and ask God to help you find your way back. Don’t despise the wrestling; despise the letting go. Wrestle in God’s presence. There is a bond in hammering out the heavy stuff with the One who knows you better than you know yourself.
5. Your deep-thinking and analytical personality and complicated emotions are not enemies of God. He created you. He is not surprised at your questions. He wants to help you through them.
God may not answer every one of your questions or maybe He won’t answer in the way you want, but His presence is richer than any answer you seek. But if you wall off your honesty with Jesus, you may have unintentionally walled off Jesus. Bring the walls down.
Your intellect is a reflection of your ineffable Creator. Be wary of anyone that has God all figured out. Be wary of yourself when you think you should.
6. Eventually you’ll have to step off the shoulders of the muscled-up believer you’re standing on & develop personal faith. We sometimes forget we’re being carried until our spiritual leader stumbles & we get dropped on our head.
If you’re shaken because somebody else’s faith is shaken, that’s a completely normal feeling. But use your headache to send you right through the torn veil into the inner room where your Chief Priest says I died, so you can have direct access to Me.
Are you going to believe what somebody said about your dad? Or are you going to say, I know my dad too well to not trust His love for me? Friend, it’s you & Jesus. Just you & Jesus. Is there a you & Jesus? It’s not too late.
Keep the door open, the wall down, the line warm. If you can’t hang on to God for a mile, hang on to Him for an inch. If you think you can’t hang on to Him for tomorrow, hang on to Him for today.
Tell Him you’re hanging on & you need help. Keep your heart open.