Wednesday, December 4, 2013

When You No Longer Desire God...

Image Courtesy of FrameAngel/
A few months ago, I was feeling so far from God. I had no real joy about the things of the Lord and wondered if this was a normal feeling of a believer? I began to feel like I was going through the motions of my Christian walk and not living out my full potential in Christ. I questioned the things that I did. Am I really reading the Bible because I want to know God more fully or as a sense of duty or to sound smart? (Read here: Why Study the Bible) Do I really give back out of the love of Christ or wanting to be perceived as a "good, caring person"? Do I spent time with God because I truly desire to be with Him or do I do it as an item on my checklist? I came up with the overarching question...what should I do when I no longer desire God?

I am a firm believer in the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. After 35 years of marriage and family therapy, Dr. Gary Chapman noticed a pattern: everyone has a "love language", a primary way of expressing and interpreting love. Of the many ways we can express love to another, there are five key categories proven to be universal and comprehensive. Everyone has a love language and we all identify with one of the five.

Words of Affirmation—Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Don't mistake this for arrogance or vanity. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
Quality Time—In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says “I love you” like full, undivided attention. Don't mistake this for being clingy or needy. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes them feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
Receiving GiftsDon’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
Acts of Service—Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an Acts of Service person will speak volumes. This does not mean this person wants you to be their slave. The words he or she most wants to hear are, “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them, tell those with this language their feelings don’t matter.
Physical TouchThis language isn't all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

My love languages are words of affirmation and physical touch, but I am going to focus on words of affirmation for this post. (Most people have one, but some may have a secondary.) You still don't know your love language, click here to take a quick assessment.

Image Courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot/
After learning about the love languages, I came across Dr. Champan's book the Love Languages of God. God's love for us is evident in so many ways, but learning about this helped me search for God's expression of love in the form I related to the most - Words of Affirmation. The amazing thing about God is that He speaks all five love languages to His children. This is how I was saved. I was reading a Christian blog and I felt God speaking directly to me through those words. That very night, He opened my heart and I gave my life to Christ. When I learned about these love languages, I also realized that I express my love to God through words of affirmation. I love to sing praises (even though I can't hold a note!), encourage people, giving thanks to God, freestyle poetry with God, write Him love letters, and spending days listening to all types of gospel music, etc. I am not saying that others don't enjoy this as well, but this is when I feel the closest to GodI am also NOT saying that every preacher or psalmist love language is words of affirmation. I know a psalmist whose love language is quality time. She uses her gift to glorify God, however she sets aside ample quiet time with God daily. She loves to meditate without any distractions with God.  She admitted that she feels the furthest away from God when she doesn't spent ample quality time with Him. We all need to spend quality time with God, but for those whose love language is quality time needs to make it a point to spent extended time with God compared to other believers. For me, I spent quality time with God by writing a love letter or studying His word. I've tried meditation...yeah...I always end up talking to

To dive into this more, I have a friend whose love language is acts of service. She loves serving. She has been on mission trips, join the missions and outreach ministry at our church, and loves to serve the homeless. When she doesn't make time to serve, she feels an emptiness. For me, I love serving others as well, but it really didn't resonate with me until I read and studied Jesus' parable about when we choose to provide food, shelter, etc for those in need we are doing it for Him. (Matt 25:35-40 When I read this, my love to serve others skyrocketed and I began to serve from my heart. I no longer served as a sense of duty or because that is what "good" Christians do. I began to serve because of my true love for God. Why? Because WORDS speak so deeply to me. I have also chosen to serve in a way that I am able to talk to people and we can learn from one another. Someone's whose love language is quality time will enjoy serving people by building personal relationships with others like trouble youth. For physical touch, this person may enjoy serving others by giving hugs to those who don't receive them often. A person's whose love language is gifts will love to serve by giving donations to those in need or organizations that help those in need. The options are endless. :) 

So where's the issue? I have to be honest. I wasn't speaking to God in my love language at all. I wasn't personalizing my relationship with Him because I was too busy trying to mimic this idea of what a relationship with God was instead of doing what came naturally to me. I was caught up in serving others because I believed that is what Christians do, giving back because I am commanded to do so, and making sure I have quality time with God as a checklist item. Where is the heart in that?! Christ has set us free from fear based behavioral modification and empty religion that has no heart in it (Gal 5:1).When my motivation for obedience was no longer love, God was absent. (Gal 5:7-8). I needed to repent from church activities and this idea of the "perfect" Christian. Whatever that is...I needed to get back to what I knew...words with God.

God speaks all the love languages throughout the Bible. For example, David is my favorite person in the Bible after Jesus. Without even realizing it, I connected to David the most because he expressed his love to God though his songs of praise and thanksgiving to God...Words of Affirmation! :) God even express His love to David in words as well. (2 Samuel 7) Another great example is Moses. Moses love language was definitely quality time. He constantly desired to abide in the presence of God aka quality time (Exodus 31:13-23). God fulfilled Moses' deepest need for love by spending quality time with Him. This was displayed with God being a cloud by day and fire by night (Exodus 13:21), spending countless days with Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 19), meeting with Moses in the tent (Exodus 33), etc. God always has and will meet our deepest need for love.

So what do you do when you no longer desire God? Speak to Him in your love language. He has and will always speak to you in yours. Choose to love God by the way He created you and you will find yourself chasing after Him. You will choose to pursue holiness all because you were motivated by love(Gal 5:13) This is the gospel. Am I saying that you will never have times when your desire for God is minimal because you know your love language? Of course not. I know this will occur for me again because I am human and you as well. We will lose heart and need to be reminded of the gospel because we never outgrow learning the gospel. We must keep our eyes on the prize - Jesus Christ. As long as we do that, we will express our love to God in the way that is most meaningful to us and desire more of Him!

SIDEBAR: By learning about the different love languages, we are also able to respect the different ways people express their love to God instead of thinking they have to do it our way. This is why we are a BODY of Christ. :)

Us at our first event and me being all touchy (Physical Touch)!
That's me on the mic....using my favorite thing  (WORDS) to
express our appreciation for God's people!



  1. This is great!!! I'm so glad that God blessed you to deliver this message to me this morning because he knows my struggle.
    I can't thank you ladies for sharing this post!!!

  2. AH! I love love love this post! My love language is quality time, and I definitely feel closest to God when it's just me and Him and His Word locked away in my room, secluded, just talking to Him and writing to Him, reading about Him. And if I've been too busy or too lazy, I really start to feel disconnected, and I know it's time to make time for Him again! I can't wait to read this book! Awesome post ladies!