“Coming Down From the God High”
a devotional by Emily Kropidlowski
John 8:31-32 “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’”
Growing up coming to camp, I almost always left with what we call the “God high.” The God high is that feeling you have when you are so jazzed about worshipping God and spending time with Him. You feel like your relationship with Him is on fire (another common phrase we use) and you are passionate about growing closer to Him! Usually people get the ‘God high’ when they spend a lot of time drawing near to God through a camp, conference, or retreat. Depending on who you are, it can last for a while. But the inevitable eventually happens…. You come down from the God high.
When I was a new believer, I thought that this was how my relationship with God would always be. I would feel close to Him, then lose the feeling and flounder in my faith, wondering if I was still a Christian. Then I would go to camp or a retreat and be re-energized. This was a cycle that continued for many years. It caused me to doubt my relationship with God when I did not feel close to God or did not desire to draw near to Him. I struggled with doubting my salvation because I was basing my relationship with God on how I was feeling – even though His Word told me something completely different about my relationship with Him. Unfortunately, my base had become my shifting emotions rather than the solid Rock and His Word.
Almost two years ago now, God decided to bring me through a season of strong anxiety and doubt. My main struggle was in regards to the very fact that I was focused on my feelings rather than God’s truth. I would read God’s Word and yet feel lost and afraid. I was consumed with my feelings even though I was reading the truth! I was believing lies because of how I felt, rather than what God was saying in His Word.
During that time, God provided many awesome older women to speak into my life and point me back to the truth. I remember one specific instance where I kept explaining my doubts to an older mentor and she kept coming back at me with Scripture. I would try to explain myself with “Yeah, but…” and she would continue to say to me, “Emily, that’s not true…” and then tell me what Scripture said instead. I left that conversation with a fresh sense of peace because my faith, even if for a moment, was no longer resting on my emotions but on God’s truth.
Below are a few verses that have helped me in remembering where my faith rests. My faith rests in the truth that Jesus died to save my soul. Scripture is full of truth that points back to this! Only through faith in Christ do I have bold and confident access to God. Not through happy feelings. Only through faith. I’m encouraged that these verses don’t tell me I need to “feel” God in order to come to Him.
Ephesians 3:11b-12 “…Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.”
Hebrews 4:16 “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
There are still times when my heart does not feel close to God or desire to worship Him. The other day I went into church without a passion to worship or a feeling of nearness to Him. As the worship music began, I said in a prayer, “Lord, I know that my faith is not based on how I feel, so I will sing this song about your salvation of me because it is TRUE, not because it makes me feel anything.” Through that prayer (that was based on my faith), I was encouraged that I did not have to feel anything in order to come to God. I only needed faith, and that faith pleased God.
Take a moment to pray and thank God that your faith is based on the truth and not on your feelings. Ask God to help you understand and believe that. Ask Him to help you live your faith even when you don’t feel it.