I always think that actually you can be closer to God when you’re further away. If you consider yourself a pretty decent person then why would you think you need God? whereas if you think your life is a mess you will wonder how you got to that place and maybe that you need help from a higher power. I used to think I wasn’t so bad. In fact, I would have claimed I was a Christian, so naturally I wasn’t afraid of hell or anything.
At youth group last week, someone posed an interesting question, “Are we once saved always saved, or could we be saved today lost tomorrow?” When I was younger, I went through a phase of continually giving my life to God, sometimes multiple times a day, just to be sure. If I’m honest I think I did it out of fear. But then I wandered away from God; I distanced myself from Him, living how I wanted, yet still thinking of myself as a Christian, when in fact I only gave God my Sunday morning and the rest of the week, in my mind, belonged to me. I wonder, if I had died then, would I have gone to heaven or hell? I guess I’ll never know.
Perhaps my problems that I’m still struggling with today could have stemmed from this fracture in my relationship with God. Certainly back then, I was not listening to Him and I didn’t really care what He could have to say to be honest. I chose to surround myself with questionable ‘friends’, developing a habit of swearing and telling unsavoury jokes. I chased boys, I stayed up late to study and do the best; everything was a competition. I needed to be liked and I wanted to look perfect. Then I started restricting my food and everything went downhill from there, as I’ve already mentioned in other blog posts. And all throughout that time I didn’t think I was that bad, I mean I wasn’t doing anything wrong really, was I? I wasn’t mean, I didn’t hurt anyone, I was liked and I was doing very well at school.
1 John 2:4 says (concerning Jesus) ” Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.” Jesus commanded us to ‘seek first the kingdom of God’ and’pick up your cross and deny yourself daily’, amongst other things. Well, I certainly was not seeking His kingdom first, I was building my own. I wasn’t listening to what God wanted, but was living for myself. I thought I could cherry-pick the bible, or ignore it and tell myself it’s fine, it’s just harmless fun. And yet, I wasn’t enjoying it, I wasn’t happy. Depression and anxiety crept in whilst I was far from God’s protection, trying to get it all done myself and failing miserable.
People ask, why should we worship God? Is He so vain He needs our praise? C.S. Lewis talks about how we were designed for this very purpose. God knows what’s best for us and He’s the only thing that can fill that void in our life and bring us joy. Whilst I was off the ‘straight and narrow’ road to God, I did not feel the peace that I had felt before. And I missed it.
Now I am closer to God than I have felt in a while, and although I’m not saying that your problems disappear when you’re close to God, it is easier when you’re not alone. He’s there beside you and you can lean on Him when you need it.
Take care, God bless xoxox