Feeling Close to Jesus

By Maria Fontaine

Quite a few times I've heard people say things like, "I must not be close to Jesus because I don't feel close to Him." But the Bible makes it very clear that we're not supposed to go by our feelings or how things appear to be on the surface. "We walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7).

If we rely on our feelings as an indicator of how well we're doing spiritually, we're going to be very unstable. We'll be continually tossed to and fro by every feeling that happens to come along, and we'll never know how we're going to be doing tomorrow, because that would be determined by how we feel when we get up in the morning.

If you know you're truly seeking to love and please Jesus, to obey His Word and follow Him, then you're close to Him—whether you happen to feel close to Him or not!

Regardless of how we may happen to feel, if we love Jesus and are walking by faith and obeying His Word, then we know that our relationship with Him is still firm. And we certainly know that His love for us is unwavering. He says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love," "The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you," and "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Jeremiah 31:3; Isaiah 54:10; Hebrews 13:5).

A lot has to do with your heart, with your attitude. If you sincerely want to please Jesus and do His will, to love and live for Him, then He will certainly "draw nigh unto you" when you call out to Him. The Bible promises, "The Lord is near to all who call upon Him in truth," and, "The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit" (Psalm 145:18; 34:18).

So how do you know if you're close to Jesus? How do you get close to Him? You get close to Jesus by obeying His Word and by yielding to His will, that's how! Jesus has promised, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep [obey] My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him" (John 14:23). So if you're loving Him and obeying what He says in His Word, then of course you're close to Him. He's made His home in your heart, and that's pretty close! It's as simple as that. It's not a matter of feelings at all.

The point is, we can't trust or put our faith in our feelings. We don't walk by our feelings! Whether you feel close to Jesus or not is beside the point! His Word says, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith" (Hebrews 10:22). You have to go by faith! "The just shall live by faith" (Hebrews 10:38).