Have you said something like this lately?
I can’t feel God
I feel disconnected from God
- I can’t hear God
I have good news to help you better hear and connect with God. The answer lies within the condition of your heart and relationships.
Let’s look at the heart first. Jesus reveals in Mark 4 that the condition of our heart is the mystery of the Kingdom and it determines the degree of the Kingdom we’ll experience in this life. All the promises are yes so it’s up to us to believe and believing is a capacity of the heart. Therefore, if we’re not connecting with the benefits of the Kingdom dwelling within us it’s usually a heart issue. This doesn’t mean something is wrong with us or we don’t have enough faith, it just means we need a deeper connection with God in us at a heart level. If all things are possible to him who believes and believing is of the heart, we can increase the capacity of our heart to believe the truth. I teach more on this in my series The Heart: The Mystery of the Kingdom.
This is not done through performance as if to earn something from God, it’s down through renewing the mind to believe the truth so the Kingdom of God and all it’s benefits can manifest into our lives. One way to determine the condition of our heart is to look at our relationships. I recommend taking an account of your relationships and see where you’re connecting and where you’re not with people. The real question is, how well are you loving?
1 John 4:20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
Now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus so this is not an attempt to guilt you into loving or shame you for your lack or performance, it’s just a practical area to cultivate your heart to better connect with God. We can look at the outward condition of our lives and get a glimpse of the inward condition of our hearts. The goal of any introspection is not to examine your shortcomings but to look for Jesus. When you can reconcile the fact that you’re already righteous through Christ with where you’re not trusting God, you locate where you’re trying to live in your flesh or your own strength.
This principle is evident in our relationships. For example, if you say we trust God but are always suspicious of people, there may be a disconnect in whether you really trust God. Granted people are not perfect like God but if there’s a pattern, pay attention. If you feel like no one ever listens to you, the same pattern may be present in your relationship with God. The idea is to take an honest look at how you relate with people in multiple areas and it may reveal why you feel you can’t connect with God.
God is a relationship oriented being, the ultimate expression of God’s love for his creation is in the context of family. Let’s see what the Bible says about relationships.
The context of the next passage is people were questioning whether Paul was from God but there’s a principle for us to consider in the area of relationships.
2 Peter 1:3 His divine power (GRACE) has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Mark 12:29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.e 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’g There is no commandment greater than these.”
1 John 3:23And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
New Covenant commandments carry only blessing and no cursing or condemnation. If you don’t love people God isn’t mad at you and condemning you, you’ll just not experience God as fully as possible.
Matthew 5:21-22 You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, “Raca,” is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, “You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell.
Jesus linked the outward behavior of murder with the inward attitude of condemnation. Derision and name-calling, He taught, are not far removed from murder; both stem from contempt for someone bearing the image of God. Jesus wants us to consider how our heart attitudes can damage our relationships. Murder and cursing plainly violate the dignity of those made in God’s image. In addition to these indignities, we can behave in other ways that devalue people’s worth as image bearers.
Each kind of relationship reflects our relationship with God in its own way
Facets of God I’ve grown in through relationships with people
- As children we learn dependency and honor
- As friends we learn relationship and trust
- With spouses we learn intimacy and co-laboring
- God likens our relationship to him as a marriage may times
- We experience the mystery of being one with God because we’re made one with our spouse
- With children we learn self control and humility. We get to see God’s perspective
- With authority, bosses, those in authority we learn to respect those who we’re taking instruction from
- In a team we learn not to be selfish
I encourage you to make your own list of the different aspects of God are reflected in your relationships
Take an evaluation of your willingness to love people. If you have trouble loving people you might have trouble being loved by God.
1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.