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Getting back on track with God

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” (Is. 55:6)   We all go through seasons with God. David expresses his highs and lows with God in the Psalms. Jeremiah writes an entire book (Lamentations) pouring out his despair. Dry seasons come and go; the trick is to …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” (Is. 55:6)
 
We all go through seasons with God. David expresses his highs and lows with God in the Psalms. Jeremiah writes an entire book (Lamentations) pouring out his despair. Dry seasons come and go; the trick is to find a way to get back on track with the Lord. Our souls apart from God whither.
 
Since God rescued me from myself and began speaking to me in ways
that I could hear, I’ve always been interested in what he had to say. 
 
I may have learned the habit of prayer from my mom, but after
declaring spiritual bankruptcy in 1991, I’ve not wanted to do life on my
own again.
 
Still, life gets complicated and busy. At times distractions
compete for time with God. I can go for months relatively disconnected
from God – drying up on the inside, but oblivious to my spiritually dessicated
state.
Our family belonged to a tight small group community in West Palm Beach, FL. The Barnes, Hitchcocks, Watsons, Lorenzes, Simons, and Van Lentens did life together. We often vacationed together. And when we did, I usually would round up the kids for devotions in the morning.
 
This sometimes produced a rolling of the eyes, and a dragging of the feet, but our kids learned the importance of setting aside time for God. As they got older, they knew when they’ve strayed from his presence. We humans need to cultivate this awareness. Too often, we go numb and don’t realize it.
 
When I go numb, it sometimes takes a crisis to get me back on track with God. At times things can fall apart faster than I can patch them back together. 
 
What about you? How often do you find yourself in a far place wanting to get back on track with God?

Comments (13)

  • Seth – I loved this post as I feel I am just coming out of a long=term far place and it is a lonely, faraway place to be, but fhank God that He doesn’t ‘leave us in that desert. Thanks for sharing – sometimes you feel like you’re the only one that’s far away. Thanks for the transparency and honesty. It was encouraging.

  • There are some who would say there are “dry spiritual seasons” and I agree with that. But we need to remember we are spiritual strangers and aliens on the earth. And that by definition will create a constant sense of alienation. Thanks for this discussion Seth. Love you…

  • Thanks for posting this. Here’s a question that I’ve wondered various times. Is it biblical to be affected by a “dry season”? I just keep thing of of scriptures like “rivers of living water will flow from within him” (Jn 7:38) and “If you remain in me and I in you you will bear much fruit” (Jn 15:5) and that the one whose confidence in God is like a tree – “it does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to produce fruit” (Jer 17:8). It seems that if we’re constantly connected with the Vine, dry seasons are irrelevant. If we connect with Him daily (not just as routine and ritual but as relationship) we don’t even need to think about getting back on track, because we’ll stay “on track.” Connected. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this – I might only be seeing it from one side.

  • Seth, I loved this post. Going through years of untreated depression, I have felt far from God so many times. Now that I’m coming out of it, I do realize that He’s always been there. It’s my human emotions that make me feel like He’s not.

    I appreciate J’s comment – Reading it reminds me of what I used to think. The fact that I’m a Christian, so there’s no reason for me to go through a dry season. But I have to add that, we’re human with human emotions. They always get in the way {at least for me!}.

    I’m interested in hearing others’ comments on this as well!

  • Michelle – I appreciated J’s comment as well. Very insightful and while I agree with it, your point is also valid.

    Physical issues can come into play with how we ‘feel’. I understand where you’re coming from, as I have Young Onset Parkinson’s and depression is a main factor, although my doctor regulates my meds very well to avoid a major issue. However, when I miss even a day, I can feel so far from life, relationships, and God. However, when I’m ‘on’ and having a good day,

    I agree with J except that I do believe God sends us to deserts to grow us. While He may feel far away (as you’ve experienced and myself), He is so near.

    I think He sends us to dry places to be filled up. To realize our need, our emptiness without Him. To take us from what distracts us and be alone with Him. Some of the deepest spiritual experiences for me have been in the desert or through a storm, as it makes me run to Him. Even if it feels like he is not near.

    The dry places are some of those times that others speak of when they feel far from God, even when they still continue to read God’s word and pray daily. They know God is near, even when they ‘feel’ He isn’t. THe key they say, is to keep pressing on in their walk, though so often, lonely and hard . They are keeping the faith and patiently waiting for the feelings to catch up.

  • Thanks for the posts. I googled “back on track with God” because that’s how I feel right now and God led me to this. It’s great to hear that I share the same emotions with David, Jeremiah… wow! They were just human right?

    While I completely understand J’s comment because I really used to think that way, I have come to realize that you can read your Bible everyday, constantly be in fellowship with the body, but yet be in a dry season. This is exactly what is happening to me, or at least what God is getting me out of because he has revealed it to me. I found myself here when I realized that I’ve spent so much time trying to help everyone else that I neglected my own personal relationship with God. So sure that I was on the right track that I got off track and was so blind to see it. Thank God he always has a way of bringing us back. I’m learning that I really need to trust God completely and live out of my relationship with Him, not what I believe to be my own wisdom.

  • I bing getting back on track with God and he lead me here. I am trying to be strong for God, family and kids. I find it so hard to go through the day without getting off track. When I do something I know is wrong. I feel like god is starring at me with shame. I know he sees it, I feel his presense while I’m doing it and I can feel him afterwards saying I told you. I don’t do bad things, just sins in my thoughts as of a sexual manner. I told God that I would honor my wife through everything and I feel I let her, God and myself down daily with this. I repent but I feel that God will lift his hand from me if I continue on this path. I don’t want to fail him and I feel that I have in so many ways.

  • Thank you for your honesty. After severe testing I am struggling with very little fellowship and just trying to keep walking the path. Jesus is beautiful. Human’s just are not there. I desire tangible fellowship with people who have grieved deeply.

  • i had bad days and even now but somehow i managed it but for me it seems i kind left His presence when troubles come continuously. When I was happy I always thank Him, but now when I have too much trouble, I kinda disappointed with God? I even think that His promise is just for other people and not for me. right now i am getting better but i still scared if this feeling or thiughts will coming back. advice please?

  • Jeffrey, you’ve learned that life is hard and that God seems to be a long way off. It’s something we all struggle with. We need encouragement to make it thru times like that. My advice is to find a group of people who will encourage you.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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