After reading my friend's blog (http://whatismymission.blogspot.com) and seeing the honesty she puts behind her posts, and the lack of fear of not holding back, I have felt the need to be a little more like that as well. Oh, don't get me wrong, I have been honest in my posts but I generally direct them as more of a "general" sort of writing. In otherwords, I will direct it as "as Christians, we should/need...." instead of "I am struggling with this myself". So, here is my attempt at my admission to a struggle I have been facing lately.
I am struggling with feeling close to God. Oh I know that He is always with me, that He never leaves me. I know that when there is a lack of closeness it is on my part. I have not been reading my Bible the way I should (I read it but don't meditate/think on it), my prayer life has been lacking (in my opinion) and I have not been the servant that the Lord wants me to be. It feels more of a head knowledge rather than a heart knowledge...if that makes sense.
Bible reading: I read my Bible, though there are days that go by when I don't. Sometimes it can be many days that I don't get into it, and other times it is only a day or two where I don't pick it up. Now, I am told in the Bible that I should be meditating on scripture. My understanding of this is that rather than just read and put the Bible aside and not think about what I have read, I need to mull it over in my mind. I need to think about the words and what they mean. I need to examine the text to see how that can apply to my life, my situations. And this is where I am failing lately. Now, there are times that I do this but that is usually when it is something that really stands out to me. As of late however, I seem to just be reading and not applying what I have read (or even just thinking it over).
Prayer: Yes, I do pray. I have been praying so much for little Rebekah (http://rebekahspage.blogspot.com) as well as when I see another prayer request in a blog I will pray for that. I am part of a prayer chain at my church and when the requests come in I pray for those. I will also pray for other people/things/needs, etc. However, my problem with prayer seems to be in that it all seems to me as though it is coming from the head and not the heart (though rest assured that special requests such as Rebekah's ARE from the heart!). What I mean, is that often times I feel as though I am saying the same words over and over and they have lost any meaning.
When I pray, I like to give praise, give thanks, ask forgiveness, pray for others and pray for myself. Some days it seems as though I do more praying for myself than others. While I know this is ok because I am allowed to pray for myself, I feel as though I am being a little too selfish in this respect. My praise to/for God seems to be the same words echoed over each time (God You are awesome and wonderful, mighty and magnificent...), and while I do mean them, it seems as though there are other things or ways I should be doing to praise Him. Same thing with thanks. There is so much to be thankful for but I seem to thank Him for the same things...other things will escape my mind as I think what I am thankful about (unless something happens that day that I can be thankful about).
I also seem to do more talking in this area than listening. Part of a conversation (with God or anyone) is to talk AND listen. I mean, when I talk to someone on the phone I don't spew out all my news and stuff and then say goodbye and hang up without letting them speak...so why do I do that with God? If I want to hear Him speak to me, I need to be quiet and listen. I try, I really do...but I don't think I am hearing Him.
Servanthood: Jesus tells me in His word that I need to become like a servant, become humble. He did this, and I am to imitate Him. It's a hard thing to do. I try. I attempt, and I can succeed...but often times I shy away from it for some reason. It's not just in the area of me doing for others, but it's also in allowing others to do for me. But, I need to focus on being a servant to others. I know these sorts of things is not what earns me eternal life. But out of obedience to Him, I should be wanting to do these things, for Him (not for me).
I guess it comes down to obedience. I had felt very close to God at one time, about three or four years ago, for a period of time. Then, I went through a great period of depression or something where I couldn't even find it in me to pray. God and I have talked about this many times. It has been since this episode about 2-3 years ago that I have been finding the struggle great in obtaining that closeness I once had. It's hard, and I know that no one said it would be easy. I have moments when I feel close to Him, though.
Maybe I am experiencing a satanic attack, a spiritual battle or maybe God is trying to break me and humble me and mold me into what He wants me to be right now. There have been a couple of things that have been on my mind that I am seeking what He wants of me in these situations and I just don't know what He wants. I just can't seem to hear Him, I just don't know what I need to be doing for these situations (if I should be doing anything at all). It's hard, and one of my "fears" (I guess you could call it), is that I am going to backslide...which is something I do NOT want to happen. I have spent time away from God and it was hell, literally. I don't want to go there again. That is why I need to do something about it.
I know that I am not perfect and will never be in this lifetime...but that shouldn't stop me from wanting to be obedient in what He says I need to be obedient in. As I said, this is something I am struggling through lately. I just long for the closeness I once had, and to be even closer. My desire is to be a godly woman, strong in the faith, willing to be obedient to the Lord, etc. I fear that I fall greatly away from this...I just feel as though I am failing at what I attempt.