All relationships have to be reset from time to time, including our relationship with God. In spite of our best intentions, stuff happens. A relationship that was once vibrant and healthy can turn south quickly. When we offend – intentionally or unintentionally – it drives a wedge and creates relational distance.
Thankfully, our conscience has a way of letting us know when things aren’t right between us and God. That’s the way He designed it. The conscience is to the soul what nerve endings are to the body. The Spirit agitates our conscience to alert us that something is wrong and needs our attention.
I recently experienced this discomfort after doing something that I knew would grieve the Spirit. I acted out in foolishness and suddenly it felt like God and I were on different planets. The God that I enjoy living life with on most days had seemingly left the building and I was alone with the miserable burden of my sin.
What to do?
It’s never easy to admit that we have offended God, but that’s the place to begin in restoring fellowship with Him. The Bible could not be any clearer on this point:
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. -I John 1:8-9
Even when we have sabotaged our walk with God by letting our flesh call the shots, He remains committed to us. But He wants us to trust Him enough to stop hiding and covering and take the tarp off of our mess, so to speak. This is scary, but necessary.
A real relationship is always based on truth. You can’t possibly experience the depth of God’s love until you have come clean before Him and yet found that there He is, still standing in your corner as loyal as ever.
God can handle the ugly truth about our worst moments because the ugly truth was fully and finally addressed at the Cross, where Jesus endured the death penalty for our sin. This doesn’t excuse our sin, but it means that our sin – whatever it is – is forgivable.
If you feel distant from God today, be encouraged in knowing that your relationship with Him can be reset. No matter how long it’s been or how many times you’ve been through this, He still loves you and has good things in store for you. Believe that.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.