When You Feel Far from God

One of the top heart aches I witness in the lives of believers is the struggle to feel connected to God. In just about every scenario, I find rejection at work behind the scenes to keep people bound in this frustration.

Everybody experiences this difficulty at some point in their life. Those who say they don’t are just not being honest. Many respond to this pain by staying busy or ignoring they even feel this way. Regardless, the pain still resonates below the surface.

The Assignment of Separation

As relational beings, we were designed to walk in fulfilling relationship. Without it, we can live with a continual ache in our hearts. A loneliness can reside in us if left unhealed.

I have listened to some of the most challenging experiences people have had to face. The emotional pain of life was further compounded by a sense of feeling far from God. When they need God the most, they feel often distant, disconnected or abandoned from Him.

These heart breaking seasons hit people down to the cells of their body, conditioning them to either move closer to God or feel more disconnected from Him. How we walk through these experiences can often form how we process life with God.

Rejection hovers over every painful situation to send messages that disempower our connection to the Father. Two of the top lies it perpetuates are God is not here and you are far from God.

Feeling far from God is the easiest way to identify rejection’s influences in our thoughts. The very nature of rejection creates a sense of separation. The enemy knows what this sense of separation can do to us. Feeling separated from God will initiate a domino effect into every area of our life, so he works to ambush us with rejection to keep us in this prison.

Feeling far from God is the easiest way to detect rejection’s lies.

Why Do I Feel Far from God?

As a believer growing up, I felt far from God all the time. So I would ask myself this question, “Why am I far from you God?” My question was based on a lie, so of course I got thoughts back in response that were lies.

When we believe that God is far away, we come into agreement with rejection. Then the enemy follows up with a series of accusations as to why God seems far away.

You feel far because you don’t read your Bible enough. You haven’t fasted. You don’t pray enough.

You had a bad thought today.

You were lazy and didn’t get anything accomplished.

You are far because something’s wrong with you.

This would lead me into a tailspin of repeated and unproductive repentance. I don’t even want to call it repentance, because it was false confession based on lies. The father of lies loves to tell us that God is far away, when in reality, He is very near.

Rejection teaches us to live in false confession. 

The problem was not God. The problem was not me. Rejection was working overtime to keep a veil over my heart. It spewed continual lies that kept my heart from knowing that my loving Father accepted me just as I am. I didn’t need to perform for him or achieve some kind of religious perfectionism to connect to His presence. For years, rejection had disempowered my ability to rest in the eternal love of God.

The Root Problem

In helping people over the decades, here is what I have observed so clearly. The struggles with our Heavenly Father go back to our relationship with our earthly father. Whatever theme of frustration you seem to have with God is often the narrative you carry from you earthly father relationship. We learned how to relate to God by how we related to our earthly father.

Our struggles with God go back to our struggles with our earthly father.

When listening for God’s voice, we have been trained to tune into the voice that sounds most like our Dad’s. When we have not been loved properly by our fathers, rejection trains us to hear a voice that is counterfeit to God’s, though we may think it’s God. Therefore, over time, we placed the attributes that our earthly fathers possessed onto God.

We often hear God through the filter of our earthly father’s voice.

Rejection seeks to make us feel separated from God and follows up with a painful list of reasons.  This can lead us to blame our struggles and frustrations on God, as though He left us hanging. Satan knows if he can make God the reason or source for our pain, there will be a continued sense of separation from His love.

The world is full of people who are blocked from love with rejection’s lies and as a result are very angry with God. They have been mistreated and unloved by people in their life. God’s nature has been misrepresented. A skewed view of God develops and festers, while rejection continues to create a sense of separation from God’s love. The pain of a person’s life gets projected onto God as though He was the author of it or He carelessly let them become wounded and hurt.

The Father Image

Another critical aspect of rejection is that it causes people to deeply struggle in relating to Father God Himself. In becoming believers, they were familiar interacting with Jesus, praying to Jesus and calling out to Jesus, yet they carry a deep awkwardness in having relationship with Father God.

I was one of those people. Because of the rejection strongholds in my life, I was very uncomfortable interacting with Father God, especially in the dimension of addressing Him as Dad or Daddy, which is what the word “Abba” means. I felt like it was sacrilegious to address God as Father, or even Dad. I preferred to just talk to Jesus. There is nothing wrong with calling out to Jesus, but there is a deeper dimension of relating to the Godhead.

The Scriptures unanimously teach that our prayer and connection is ultimately meant to lead us to the Father. We are to pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. Jesus is the way to the Father. We cannot have a relationship with the Father apart from Christ. At the same time, Jesus did not die on the cross so we could just know Him, but that we would also know the Father.

Jesus took the sting of rejection on the cross so that you and I could freely interact with our Dad. The cross and resurrection made it possible for you and I to connect to that great love and to know who we are as the Father’s children. Jesus knew what it meant to carry the sins of the world and feel separation from the Father on the cross. He took that upon Himself so we would never have to be separated from God. Rejection contradicts God and trains us to feel separated from Him.

Jesus took the sting of rejection on the cross so that you and I could freely interact with our Dad. 

Go to the Father

Jesus said it Himself when He talked about this prayer relationship with Father God. When He ascended in the resurrection, there would be a new order for the body of Christ to pray. Because of Jesus, we do not need someone to go to the Father for us. We can go and talk to our Dad ourselves.

And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:23-24

Let me push this even further. Jesus is also not going to pray to the Father for you.

In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you. John 16:26

Jesus was saying, “While you see me, you can ask me whatever you want. But when I ascend, you will not ask Me; go to the Father. Go in My name. That’s your access. Go to the top level and ask the Father everything you need. And by the way, don’t think that I am going to say this prayer for you. I won’t do this for you. I paved the way so you can know Dad yourself.”

In what is known as the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus even taught us to pray, “Our Father.” All the New Testament Scriptures teach us how to have a deep relationship with Father God through Jesus Christ. Jesus came to show us the Father and lead us to Him.

As believers, we are the betrothed bride of Christ, but we are also sons and daughters of our Father God. If we do not have an ingrained understanding of a love relationship with Father God as sons, then rejection will build a blockage in our hearts and keep us from becoming immersed in love and security.

Relating to the Father is the highest value of the Christian faith. Despite this, I have observed so many believers who are crying out to Jesus while avoiding the Father. The rejection creates a wedge in this area and leaves people clouded over.

Even in the most intense moments in the garden, Jesus spoke intimately to Father God, by using the word “Abba,” which means Dad or Daddy.

And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:36

Have you every felt distant from or far away from God? This is the worst bondage to feel, because if you feel separated from God, you will feel separated from love. We were never designed to live separate from God and love.

Even though God will not leave us or cast us aside, rejection will teach us He will. It will even use religious ways of thinking to make us feel unqualified to be near God. This is how deep the work of the enemy is in seeking to keep us from the love of our Heavenly Father. If Satan can keep you convinced that you are far from God, He has separated you from experiencing the most important relationship in your life.

We often have to simply admit that we are not exactly comfortable relating to a Father. The term brings up pain and empty references. But we must press in if we are to experience the healing that available to us today.

Key to Freedom

Letting God heal our broken heart will begin to remove the tentacles of rejection from our lives, so that we can pursue love relationships the way God intended us to. This embed in us the security we so desperately need and is the subject of our next chapter.

You are going to have to admit the need for your broken heart to be healed in order for transformation to achieve its greatest work. Admitting you have a broken heart is not a sign that you are less of a man or that you are not a strong woman. It shows you are willing to authentically address a core issue your heart longs for. It pushes past any of the pride or stubbornness that keeps us from being made whole and lets the One who loves us pour His goodness deep into our hearts.

God is not impressed with those who think they can just rise up and get over their broken heartedness in two seconds. He loves a humble heart that recognizes a need for healing the heart. The Bible says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18.

When it comes to rejection, the father wound is certainly a major place where healing is needed. But in order to become healed from this rejection, we cannot simply run to our earthly father and ask for his approval. This will lead to further disappointment and bondage. If you carry a father wound, it is most likely your dad does not know how to give you what you need anyway. This leads us to turn where the solution lies; our heavenly Father. He is the only perfect Dad.

Where do you need to let Father God come and heal your broken heart today?