Nearness

User avatar
jarrod
Posts: 290
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:49 pm

Nearness

Post by jarrod » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:08 am

Can someone talk about their experiences regarding "nearness" to the Lord?

We know He is always with us and that He will never leave us nor forsake us. We know He knows us intimately and dwells within us. However, how come the Spiritual nearness/closeness to the Lord comes and goes? I am so skeptical when it comes to "feelings," but I do not ignore them either. I know what it is like to feel His presence and what it is like to know He is there, but not feel it.

Sorry if that is a dumb question.

Jarrod

User avatar
Perry
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:24 pm

Re: Nearness

Post by Perry » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:57 am

It's not a dumb question, but I do think it is more than one question.

One question might be, whether there's any relationship between God's closeness to us, and our perception of that closeness. (I'm mightily resisting the urge to refer to that poem about the footprints in the sand... and failing.) I think that at times I can really feel God's closeness to me, but I don't think He is limited by my mood about it. It is in Him that we live and move and have our being, so, in one sense, we're always close to God. So while I think my relationship with God is often accompanied by a very emotional attachment, sometimes very intensely so, I think it's a good thing that it's not dependent upon my particular mood.

Another question might be, "What does it mean when our sins separate us from God?" If we're talking about a nearness, or a closeness, the opposite of that would be a separation. To what extent, if any, do our sins and shortcomings separate us from God?

User avatar
Bud
Posts: 112
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:51 pm
Location: Aloha, Oregon

Re: Nearness

Post by Bud » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:04 pm

Hi Jarrod,

Re: your request,

"Can someone talk about their experiences regarding "nearness" to the Lord?"

I have experienced a knowledge of the "nearness" of the Lord ever since I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Since then I am always aware of His presence, and I know this because I "consider the Lord in all my ways".

Also Jarrod, have you listened to Steve Gregg's lecture series, "Character and Charisma", I think that's were I heard Steves testimony re: his baptism in the Holy Spirit and feeling the Lord's presence ever since.

Re: your question,

"However, how come the Spiritual nearness/closeness to the Lord comes and goes?"

As far as feelings go I like to remind myself of a piece of wisdom I received from Hank Hanegraaff which goes like this, (I'm paraphrasing) "Feelings should be placed at the back of the train, truth at the front.

It sounds to me that you have truth at the front of your "belief train" so I hope you will be comforted in this.


But to complete my answer to your question I would say it may all be a matter of feelings and feelings can be fickle. And also did not even Jesus cry out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

As to the why of all this matter, I'm not sure.

Bud
Malachi 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard [it,] and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. (NASB) :)

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 4901
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: Nearness

Post by Paidion » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:19 pm

Jarrod, I have had similar "come and go" experiences with the Lord throughout my life, and I'm now nearly 75.

I don't consider nearness of the Lord to be a feeling, but an experience. I think there is a danger in attributing our experience with the Lord to a mere subjective feeling or emotion.

I experience His love flowing into me and through me whenever I am able to surrender to Him completely. It is difficult or impossible to describe this experience to others. The writer of the song "I come to the garden alone" understood this when he wrote, "The joy we share as we tarry there, NONE OTHER HAS EVER KNOWN". I think each disciple's experience with the Lord Jesus is unique — most WONDERFUL, and different from that of anyone else.

However, it seems that whenever I do anything which displeases Him (whether I'm aware of having displeased Him or not), then I am incapable of that full surrender or submission. Then is the time to repent and submit again. I find that singing songs of surrender and submission helps me to do so.

There is a day coming when we shall enter into His presence, and never come out! Praise God!

With love in the Altogether Lovely One,
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 81.

User avatar
Perry
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:24 pm

Re: Nearness

Post by Perry » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:37 pm

Paidion wrote:I think each disciple's experience with the Lord Jesus is unique — most WONDERFUL, and different from that of anyone else.
I agree. I know that for me personally, many of my greatest experiences with the Lord have been intensely personal, and not something that I could describe in a way that another person would "get" it.

User avatar
jarrod
Posts: 290
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:49 pm

Re: Nearness

Post by jarrod » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:27 pm

Thank you all so much for your replies. I read each of them a few times.

Paidon, I really relate to your words. I like how you distinguish between feeling and experience. Also, whenever I discern a "distance," I begin asking for the Lord to reveal to me disobedience I may not be aware of.

Yet another reason, but I believe my experience in the Lord is unique... although very real. I trust Him and love Him so much. I praise the Lord that we are not all the same, but each have our own role and "experience" in His body.

Jarrod

User avatar
RICHinCHRIST
Posts: 361
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:27 am
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Re: Nearness

Post by RICHinCHRIST » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:27 pm

This thread was great to read through. I think it should be mentioned, however, that sometimes we do not sense God's nearness for another reason. It may not be because we aren't fully surrendered, or because we temporarily walked in the flesh (although these very often are true), but because God may be testing us to see how we will respond while we feel far away from Him.

User avatar
TK
Posts: 1475
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:42 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Nearness

Post by TK » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:24 pm

rich wrote:
but because God may be testing us to see how we will respond while we feel far away from Him.
In the spring/early summer of this year I had a very disturbing experience of being unable to pray. I would start to pray but couldn't finish a thought. It was like there was an invisible bubble around me and my prayers couldnt get through it-- but it was more than that because I actually couldnt get the prayer out of my mind.

I think this was a test. I never stopped trying to pray during this period, but I was somewhat discouraged. It gradually got better throught the summer and is pretty much gone.

I am still not 100% sure what this test was trying teach me, and I hope I don't experience it again.

TK

User avatar
jarrod
Posts: 290
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:49 pm

Re: Nearness

Post by jarrod » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:33 pm

First, RICH, I just want to say that what you added was an excellent point. I agree completely.

TK, your post made me think of a verse I read just moments ago:
Genesis 20:6 wrote:Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her...
Obviously I'm not comparing apples to apples or suggesting you had sinful intentions, but this verse spoke of God preventing Abimelek from sinning. Perhaps God prevented you from praying for a reason...

I think God may allow us to go without Him to experience what it is like (in certain capacities) and, like you said, perhaps to test us to see if we run to Him. The times I have gone "without" the Lord, the only thing that invades my mind is getting "back." I don't know if that makes sense...

Jarrod

User avatar
TK
Posts: 1475
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:42 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Nearness

Post by TK » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:33 am

jarrod wrote:
The times I have gone "without" the Lord, the only thing that invades my mind is getting "back." I don't know if that makes sense...
Yes, it makes perfect sense. If you are in a dry period and KNOW you are in a dry period and want out, it is a good sign.

TK

Post Reply

Return to “Fellowship & Worship”