What Are You Plugged Into?
Throughout our lives, we experience times when we feel distant from God. Learn how others stay connected to God in trying times and how to stay spiritually charged moving forward!
The other day, I forgot to charge my cell phone overnight and woke up to a dead battery. As a result, the alarm on my phone never went off and I left for work late! It was only 9:08 a.m., and I already wanted to hit the reset button on my day and start over—fully charged!
Whether you’ve experienced this particular scenario or not, we’ve all had similar days when we ran out of juice and needed to plug into something in order to recharge.
We can think of our spiritual lives in a similar way. There are times in our lives when we feel charged and full of joy and zeal. We also go through times when, like my cell phone, we’re drained of energy and struggling to plug ourselves back into our personal relationship with God.
Using this metaphor, let’s explore some common things that drain our batteries and consider how to maintain our spiritual charge.
Feeling disconnected spiritually is analogous to waking up to a dead cell phone. Nothing seems to work when we feel spiritually distant from God and others. But what disconnects us in the first place? Let’s look at some common circumstances and situations that drain our batteries and unplug us spiritually.
- Forgetting to recharge. Just like I forgot to plug in my cell phone, we often neglect to plug back into God through regular prayer, Bible study and fellowship. Our lives get so busy with our own desires that we simply neglect to make time to build our spiritual relationship first (Matthew 6:33; 13:22). During these times, there is a greater risk of growing distant from God. It’s often unintentional, but the consequences are major.
- Over our minutes. The Bible focuses a lot on developing positive relationships that bring us closer to God, rather than moving us more into the world (James 4:4). While we need to live as examples and lights to the world (Matthew 5:14), when we invest most of our time forming friendships with people who don’t share our values, our spiritual focus can drift. This is similar to using up all our cell phone minutes and draining our battery by talking to the wrong people. Who are you dialed into?
- Blowing a fuse. Have you ever tried to plug too many things into one circuit and blown a fuse? (I remember this happening regularly at summer camp in the girl’s bathhouse before the banquet and dance!) When we are trying to do too much at once, we often don’t have the capacity to fully charge spiritually and may even overload our entire system. We must remain aware of times of increased stress, workload and responsibility in our lives, so we can make time to plug into our spiritual outlet and maintain our charge, giving Jesus Christ the burden or worry we’re trying to carry ourselves (Matthew 6:25-34).
Plugging back in
No matter what drains your battery, it’s crucial to know when and how to plug back in to renew and strengthen your relationship with God. This takes effort and intention and is different for each person.
Below is some advice from people around the world about what helps them get spiritually recharged:
- “When I notice I am unplugged from God, I unplug myself from everything else and make a point to go somewhere away from all distractions. Many times I go for a walk and simply reconnect with God in nature.”
- “Invest time in regular and daily prayer and actually talk to God out loud if you have to. When God hears us and answers our prayers, it builds our faith.”
- “Make a list of the incredible blessings in your life and begin thanking God for them. This allows you to draw closer to God and work on rebuilding your relationship with Him.”
- “Spend time with young children and notice how curious and eager they are to learn and build relationships. Imitate them like Christ directs (Matthew 18:3).”
- “Take a breather from the world around you and step back from everything and everyone. Then spend time reading some of your favorite Bible chapters, to reground your spiritual focus.”
- “Don’t beat yourself up and distance yourself further from God in these hard times. … Seek God especially during these times and trust He will be there for you.”
Staying spiritually charged
One of the most significant realizations I’ve had in my young life is how God’s spiritual strength is made perfect in our human weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Even when we’re feeling drained and distant from God, His strength charges us when we allow ourselves to plug back into His power, mercy and love.
God desires a deep and lasting relationship with us. He wants us to be part of His eternal family. As His children, He wants us to stay charged and on fire for His way of life so we can build the character and relationships necessary to serve others.
Read more about building that relationship with God in our section on “Prayer, Fasting and Meditation” and our article “How to Study the Bible.”