We all know that feeling — that feeling that we are far away from God. At such times coming near to him is harder, or rather, feels harder. I often feel that I am unworthy to come to him. “How could I go, and come back as I please?”, I ask myself, “Am I really God’s child? With my inconsistent pursuit of my Saviour?” Many times, I get preoccupied with life’s demands. In such moments, my relationship with God grows distant. Sadly, I realise this about 3 or 4 days later, at times, even a month. My heart, at this point, is usually heavy, starved and empty. Then I ask the age old question, “How did I get here?”. Well, one possible answer is this — I did small things that impeded intimacy with Jesus Christ.
“Small” sins hinder intimacy with God
We often think that mega sins (unfortunately, many times Christians classify sins as big and small, but we shouldn’t — any sin is still sin) are things that strain our relationship with God. But “small” consistent sins have a more dangerous effect on us. They, by our consistent involvement in them, harden our hearts deeply. We eventually become estranged towards God. God becomes less desirable to us. Sweet fellowship becomes detestable. Prayerfulness becomes prayerlessness. Our meditation wanders to darker and darker corners. But thanks be to God for the Holy Spirit that convicts us of sin and righteousness. God always pursues us, desiring to restore our broken relationship with him.
“Small” responses in obedience fosters intimacy with God
Whenever I feel far away from God, I often want to do one big thing that fixes how I feel. I would then think, “Maybe a day of fasting will fix everything, and make me feel better? Or maybe a weekend of intense Bible reading?” God has designed all relationships to share one common thing — all relationships require mutual investments for any party to enjoy its true benefits. This is not to mean that fasting or focussed Bible reading has no effect. There is great gain here. But for any relationship to be fruitful, there has to be some commitment to consistency. Consistency is tested when we have to stick to a decision even when the feelings of motivation have faded away.
Some of the biggest battles I face everyday lie here. In these “small” things. I will again be careful with the word “small”. For no response in obedience to God deserves to be referenced by the term “small”. But I think this term can capture the fact that God would on various occasions, by the Holy Spirit, lead us to do things that are unnoticeable to the public eye, or seemingly insignificant in our own judgement. But our obedience to do the “small” things grants us rewards in this life and will grant us rewards in the life to come. Obedience to these small things will foster that intimacy that we feel is lacking. Intimacy is nurtured in the secret place – where it is just you and Christ. Where obedience is required and there are no eyes to impress; only the nudge of the Holy Spirit leading you to obey God’s word.
Do the “small” things
I am encouraging myself to do the “small” things that glorify God. In this season of my life, some of the small things I believe God is teaching and leading me to do are: watch less television (movies, youtube, series) pray without ceasing amidst every day’s tasks, meditate on his word more, bring every thought under the authority of Jesus Christ and seek to deliberately love people more.
What “small” thing is God calling you to do?