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Question

I believe in God the Father but I have struggled with various sins. I have tried to serve him and fail. I need the Lord to direct me and take charge of my life. Why can I not feel his presence?

Answer

Thank you asking your very honest question.

If I have understood you correctly, you believe in God the Father but feel very far from Him most of the time and you wonder how to truly experience His presence in your life. You have tried to serve Him and have failed.

Surprising at this may seem, you have already learnt an important lesson. All your struggling has been unsuccessful because you (like every other human being on earth) are a sinner, unable to please God through your own efforts. When we despair of ourselves, we are finally in the place where God can meet us and bless us. You are ready to be blessed!

The Bible tells us,

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me". (John 14:1)

To believe in God is not enough; we must also put our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, as our only hope of forgiveness and an eternity in Heaven.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)

The Bible talks not only of believing in Jesus but of receiving Him into our lives in a decisive act of faith and commitment. We receive Him as our Saviour and Lord and give our lives unreservedly to Him; we live for Him. I wonder if have you ever made such a personal commitment with Him? Only then will you be a true child of God.

Then, says the Bible, we do not have to struggle and strive to please God. God give us righteousness as a free gift. He regards us as people who keep His Law, simply because we believe in Jesus.

This is what Saint Paul wrote about it:

"Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. (Romans 4:3-5)

If you have invited Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Saviour, God regards you as righteous.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

If you are in Christ, you have been saved from sin and condemnation. God has placed His Holy Spirit in your life to give you power to love and obey God. Your part is to read the Bible so that you know God's will, and simply live by faith in Jesus Christ. As you trust Him, you will find that the Holy Spirit empowers you to follow Him. You will make mistakes and fail from time to time, but because Christ is your Saviour, God will forgive you and restore you by His power.

Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

We can not rely on how we feel. Sometimes we feel forgiven and at peace with God and sometimes we do not. But we rely on the promises of God revealed in the Bible. Even if you do not feel righteous, God says you are righteous. If you feel condemned, God says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Our feelings are unreliable, but God's promises are absolutely reliable. Keep studying them and keep believing them.

However, although we do not rely on feelings, as we live by faith and by His Spirit, we find that on many occasions, we do experience God's power and presence. Saint Paul was hungry for God and wrote,

I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. (Philippians 3:8-10)

To desire to know God personally and experience His power is the greatest desire a human being can have. Paul, who wrote the words given above, knew that to experience this was not cheap and would sometimes lead to suffering. Some people hated Jesus and such people will hate us because we follow Him. Jesus calls us to put to death our sinful desires, in order to experience His risen power. Experiencing God is not cheap! However, it is the greatest thing that can happen to us.

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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