One of the most common spiritual problems Christians face today is often expressed as “not feeling close to God.” I believe that this feeling is a symptom of a deeper spiritual condition: communicative malnourishment or CM. CM is a relational problem. Christians are made in the image of the triune God who communes with himself in three persons (Father, Son, and Spirit). We were made to commune with God and with each other. Central to this communion is language, which I call communion behavior (see the post “What Is Language? Communion Behavior”). In light of this, we will feel spiritually distant from God when we (1) fail to hear from him and/or (2) fail to speak with him. When we do not hear from God in his word or speak with him in prayer, we develop a sense of isolation, sometimes a numbness or ignorance to God’s presence. Those are the symptoms of CM. We become spiritually malnourished because our very livelihood is rooted in communication with God. When that gets interrupted or halted, we suffer. And the remedy, while difficult to implement, is simple: hear God’s voice and start speaking with him.
Are you suffering from CM? Is someone you know suffering from it? Most Christians are. The good news is that we can do something about it. Actually, the good news is that God has already done something about it. He’s given us his word (Scripture) so that we can hear his voice, and his Spirit indwells us, telling us when and how to pray (Rom. 8:26). The treatment of CM, in other words, lies in language.
To learn more about CM and how you can avoid it, see my new ebook In Divine Company: Growing Closer to the God Who Speaks. It’s time we all reminded ourselves that God is our primary conversation partner.