In writing for Got Questions ministry, I was asked to address what a person should do whose heart is drifting from God and they don’t want to do the things of God anymore but know they should. Here is how I answered their concern:
I encourage you to think back to when you were first saved. What were those things that strengthened your faith? What were the things that excited you about the Lord? How did God move in your life in those days?
Now consider the opposite…what activities are you involved in now that are possibly compromising your faith? Are there people that you are around that tend to dampen your faith because of the lives they live? What lifestyle changes have occurred since the earlier days of your faith walk that could be dulling your interest in the things of God?
Having considered those things, I want you to think about how a person hikes. They start out on a trail with a destination in mind that they have plotted on a map. But, if the trail is not clearly marked and the person deviates from the trail just slightly, it is hardly noticeable at first. But, the longer they hike…the farther they are away from the intended route. When they took the first step from the trail, they were likely only about 4 inches off the trail. But, as the hike wore on…they eventually find themselves 1 – 2 miles off the path. So, what does that person need to do to get back?
They can do one of two things: they can either go cross country in hopes of finding the trail at the peril of experiencing perils they were not expecting or they can retrace their steps and go back to the last known place of accuracy.
Here is something to consider. Is it possible that at points in our life, God removes our ‘conscience awareness’ of Him in our life in order to give us an opportunity to demonstrate our faith even when we don’t feel like it? I am not saying He leaves us alone…that never happens as revealed in Hebrews 13:5b, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” But, if you haven’t studied the book of Job it would be a worthwhile study for you. He went through all manner of diversity. Even though he didn’t understand why he had lost everything, he never gave up on God.
So here’s what I believe is the practical suggestion to your question. Within our Christian faith, there are some disciplines that we should practice to keep our faith fresh. Certainly, we live under grace…but, the Apostle Paul said, “but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” (I Cor 9:27, NASB) The disciplines I am referring to aren’t so much the disciplines of not overeating, not being drunk, etc. But, the disciplines I am thinking of are being in church, listening to music that lifts up the name of Christ, finding some isolated times to pray and praise, and embarking on a Bible study. In other words, go back to those things that brought you joy and fulfillment in your Christian walk before you began to drift. At first, it may seem like you are forcing the activity. But, pray as David did in Psalms 51:12 (NKJV) when he said, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation…” Spend some time in Psalms 51 looking specifically at the proclamations to God that David makes. As you do, I believe you will see an answer to that prayer.