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I have been a christian for 9 yrs now And a couple Months ago fell into sin. I had never fallen this bad during my whole walk with God. Ever since then, God has restored me and forgiven me but I feel him very distant even though I pray. Do you think this is just part of me going through the consequences of my sin? I feel like the close connection I once had with God has been cut off and it’s so hard for me to attain it once again..I really miss it. Do you have any advice?
First of all you should know that this is something that everybody goes through. Everybody backslides and everybody goes through periods where they feel distant from God, and very often those two things are related. It’s something I have definitely been through.
There is an old saying “If you feel distant from God, you are the one who moved”, a little simplistic, but there is a lot of truth in that. I think that one of the reasons you might be feeling distant from God is that you have just come out of a period of closing off part of your heart to God. When we are a period of habitual sin, we are closing off part of ourselves to the authority of Jesus because we know that if we let Him in we would have to change.
I don’t know for sure in your case, but when people talk about “falling into sin” they often mean something habitual, not a one time thing. One of the things that happens with something ongoing like that is that we kind of quarantine a part of our heart off from God, and that tends to snowball. Here”s an example: if you are abusing pornography, you know that Jesus doesn’t want that for you so you have to keep Him at a distance whenever you make the decision to do that. After a while, you will expand that to keeping Jesus out of your decisions in regard to how you meet your needs in general.
Distance from God is a consequence of sin, but that consequence has been taken by Christ on the cross. If we were left to deal with the consequences of our sin, we would all be grease spots on the ground. So regaining that closeness with God can be done. You need to be honest with God in your prayer to a relentless degree, you need to get to a point where you can talk about your struggles out loud to someone close to you. It’s about getting rid of your shame so that you can get back in the habit of allowing God into all the corners of your heart. You can do it, and it will be worth it.
-Matt from The Bridge