Is there anyone you haven’t forgiven?
Are you bitter?
Does thinking about a past event or person still cause your chest to tighten and anger to rise within?
^ If any of the following is relatable, do you also feel like you are not connecting with God?
Yeah, you may have guessed it. It is all connected.
It is extremely common to listen to people open up about how they are not connecting with God. I’ve shared in the post Feeling Disconnected From God we can’t rely on our feelings. God is still God whether or not we “feel” He is with us, speaking from experience. I am a person who relies, sometimes, a little too much on feelings.
However, I also shared how disconnection could come from spiritual warfare and in order for that to happen one of our vulnerabilities needs to be attacked.
In the past post, I was focusing on our actions and whether or not we are making time for Christ through prayer, worship, and reading His word. But what if someone is already doing these things, or feels like they are doing these things with no answers?
Why does God seem far away?
Why is scripture not speaking to us?
Why are we not growing and feeling stuck?
I haven’t really dived into the deeper part of what this means, which is today’s topic. The part many of us are not going to like.
Where our mercy, forgiveness, humility, patience, and love fall into place with the people and past circumstances that have hurt us.
Some of you have shared you feel a disconnect. I’m concerned for my community and the body of believers.
Admittedly, I have been in your shoes. I sometimes retrace the steps and am tempted to go back to that place.
When we feel disconnected from Christ, when we can’t hear His words speak to us. When we feel we are doing “everything” right, often times we really have to look at our heart. Are we impatient with Him? I know His timing is definitely different than ours.
(NIV) 2 Peter 3:08, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”
But usually, it is more than just being impatient.
We have to be willing to ask ourselves why He may feel distant or silent, and that’s when we have to look at our heart.
Seeds of anger, bitterness, jealousy, envy, you name it these will automatically disconnect us from God. He is not tainted, and if we are allowing these emotions and thoughts to rule us then our heart is tainted.
I know people who have struggled daily in their life because they see everything they want, and they are so upset they can’t have it. They compare their life to the life of others. They are bent on, “Woe is me,” to the point that making a conscious choice to change perspectives would be extremely hard.
It’s easier for us to focus on ourselves than Christ, that’s the truth. Don’t hide it.
We can be so consumed with our own selfish desire for ourselves that we become blind.
For many years, I wanted to be recognized by the people who have hurt me. I wanted them to acknowledge what they did to me, admit it was wrong, seek forgiveness, and genuinely show concern…and I’ll admit. One person in particular, who truly was sorry, it took years to get over the pain and effect it had on our relationship. But something I shouldn’t have done…is make that person feel like they constantly had to apologize, or had to feel guilt for the past.
It isn’t about that.
In fact, the people who don’t give us the satisfaction of saying, “I’m sorry I shouldn’t have done this to you.”
It doesn’t matter.
And no, I’m not saying forgive them because you deserve to be free. I’m not an inspirational poster.
(NIV) Luke 6:37,”Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
As a follower of Christ, we are told to be Christlike. Jesus Christ was made lowest of low, a humble servant which is exactly what we are also made to be.
(BSB) Hebrews 2:07, “You made Him a little lower than the angels; You crowned Him with glory and honor.”
He could have not been flogged if He didn’t want to. He could have healed and gotten off the cross if He wanted to. He was blameless.
(NIV) Hebrews 7:26, “Such a high priest truly meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.”
We are nowhere close to being that blameless, so we can’t even get on our high horse and gloat about how much people owe us in forgiveness…because we already owe Him everything…and He already forgave us so… we can’t talk.
We have to be like Him. (ESV) Ephesians 4:15, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ.”
It’s a slap in the face to many. We want justice. We want people to apologize. We want to be understood in our pain. And to an extent, of course, this is completely understandable. But when these feelings, thoughts, and emotions begin to take root and corrupt our heart, no.
When the spotlight of our feelings and desires mean more to us than Christ? Come on!
There is a point where we HAVE to let it go. We have to be willing to choose Christ over our own feelings, and how we believe things should be done. No one is perfect. We are going to get hurt. People are going to hurt us. It’s the truth.
But we are called to be set apart for a reason, and I promise you, these negative reactions and feelings will only continue to disconnect us from God.
As I’ve stated before, it isn’t Him, it’s us. He remains the same because He is good, holy, and pure. We aren’t.
We are not supposed to be isolated and set apart from people because of bitterness, it is not about that.
How can we be examples of Christ and be a teacher or a leader to others, when we can’t even admit the seeds we’ve planted, and allowed, to grow in our own heart?
It’s like we expect Christ to “enlighten” us and break our chains, but, “Oh, hold on Lord, I’m really upset and bitter about what so-so did to me, so I’m just going to hold onto that, and hey, why haven’t I heard from You? Why can’t I feel You, Lord?”
We hold one hand out to Him, and the other hand clutches anger and bitterness at our side.
It’s either Him or us, we have to make that decision. It is that simple. We either begin to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit or like the fig tree, we will be cut off from the branch and bear nothing in Him at all.
(NIV) Matthew 21:19, “Seeing a fig tree by the road, He went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then He said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.”
Having a relationship with Christ is not meant to be a “happy” relationship. That’s a relationship purely based on feelings…
We are meant to grow. We are meant to rebuke what is not of Him. We are meant to strengthen others.
If we don’t get our heart together, He truly won’t know us because we don’t know Him. (NIV) Luke 13:27,”But He will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from Me, all you evildoers!'”
The time is now.
Has God ever convicted you of bitterness, anger, jealousy or something similar?
Month Scripture (NIV) John 13:07, “Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath