When we are stuck in sin and the shame and guilt overwhelm us, it is so easy to think that God is so far off and that we are too dirty and guilty to be in His presence. I have often found this to be my mindset when I am in the darkest moments of my addiction. It is so easy to believe that God is so far away and that we have to do x, y and z before God will ever be close to us again.
A few months ago when I was drowning in my addiction, I was feeling this way and desperately wanting God to be near when He brought this verse to me,
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” – Isaiah 30:21
He then reminded me that He is right here, right in front of my face. I can turn to the left or the right or try to run the other direction but ultimately He is always right in front of me. I may “feel” distant from Him but He has never left. This realization has brought so much hope and peace to me, especially during the difficult times. God’s grace is so incredible that even while we are stuck in sin, He is not willing to move. Wow.
Not only is He right there with me, despite the ugliness, but He is offering a way out. There is always another option and usually it is a better one. God does not leave us on a dead end road stuck in our sin. If we want it, He has another option for us.
So, if God loves us so much to stay right here with us even during the ugly and dark times, then why is it so easy for us to continually fall and doubt? This is something I have been wrestling with and trying to make sense of. This is grace to the fullest and I have to choose to accept it and believe it as truth.
I was sitting with a friend today chatting about how far I feel from God and as soon as those words came out of my mouth, I remembered what God had showed me only a few months earlier. The feeling of being far from God is such a tool of the enemy and he is going to do anything and everything to make sure that I feel far from God so that I stop trying. I don’t know about you, but when I feel far from God it is so easy to get overwhelmed with the idea of what I have to do to make things right again. But, I have to remind myself that no matter how far away He may seem, He is right here.
The one thing Satan wants to do is isolate you and lead you to believe that you are dirty and so unworthy of God and His grace because of what you have done. It is so easy to believe those lies. The shame and guilt become overwhelming. What we need to do is listen to that still, small voice that is saying, “I am right here and I love you” and is there welcoming you with open arms.
So, the next time you slip up and have those feelings of isolation and distance from God, put your hand right in front of your face and remind yourself that God is right there. You can turn however many directions you choose but He is still right there.