Have you ever experienced a season in your life where you feel the Lord's presence so strongly that it's almost overwhelming? Being in the Lord's presence brings joy and peace in a way that nothing else can.
I've experienced those seasons myself. In fact, I remember standing in my kitchen during one of those periods and thinking that I didn't ever want to go back to a time when I wasn't as close to the Lord as I was then. I remember thinking I would never let that happen because, after experiencing it, I could never allow myself to go back to the way it was before.
But life happened. Busyness crept in. Slowly my quiet time with the Lord was encroached upon. I studied Scripture a little less. My prayers became shorter and less vulnerable. Suddenly, I looked up and realized I was becoming distant from the Lord.
But it wasn't sudden at all. Not really. It was a slow, subtle creep, so slight that I didn't realize what was happening until the distance was eventually unavoidable.
How did it happen? How did I go from feeling the joy and peace of being in the Lord's presence to finding myself distant from Him?
It happened because I was not abiding in Christ, who is the Vine. A vine provides nourishment and support for the branches that are attached to it. John 15:5 makes it clear that abiding in Christ, the Vine, will cause us to bear fruit. In contrast, John 15:4 tells us that if we do not abide in Christ, we will not bear fruit.
But, how does one "abide" in Christ? It's a simple principle, but like most things taught in Scripture, it isn't always easy to fulfill. We abide in Christ by spending time with Him, in Bible study and prayer. Two things busyness loves to attack and attempt to steal from us. It is precisely what happened to me. Busyness crept in, and my quiet time with Christ became shorter and less meaningful. With that, I slowly became distanced from the Lord.
Have you ever experienced a season in your life where you strongly felt the Lord's presence? Are you still there, or has busyness or something else robbed you of that experience? If you aren't experiencing the Lord's presence the way you would like, what changes do you need to make? Are you spending time each day in Bible study and prayer? If not, make that time a priority and schedule it on your calendar. When we make appointments, even with the Lord, we are more likely to keep them!
And, sweet friend, that is one appointment you will not regret keeping!
This piece was originally published at Joy in Faithful Living in 2020. They have graciously granted us full permission to re-publish the series here, but we would love for you to visit their site and support their ministry, as well! Check out their work at joyinfaithfulliving.com.