One of the surest ways to wreck a relationship is to look at your feelings instead of the actual person. When I was younger I used to be bothered that so many people seemed to be experiencing joy and power in their faith lives while I wasn’t. I prayed and sought an experience with God for years before I realized I was looking for the wrong thing; I wasn’t looking for God, I was looking for a feeling. I think this is where a lot of people run into problems. They don’t have religious feelings and start to wonder if their experience with God is or was authentic. Some wonder if He’s really there; some just give up. But it’s only when we lose ourselves that we authentically experience the joy that come from knowing Him. I think that’s part of what the Bible means when it talks about dying to ourselves; it’s only when we get rid of our preoccupation with ourselves and what we’re getting out of it that can we experience any real joy. Don’t try to manufacture feelings: rather make knowing Jesus the object of your life, and the sense of His presence will come – not when you’re looking for it, but when you’re looking for Him.

Advertisements