God’s main way of “talking” to us is through His word. Many have claimed to literally hear God speaking to them but at times it can be contradictory to what His revealed word says. The Apostles and others who wrote the New Testament encouraged us to study His word. We are not to expect to have God talk to us directly.
On Jesus’ last night on earth, He prayed for his followers. Not just those living then but for those who lived after them. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.”(John 17:20) Note, we believe “through their (His disciples’) word.” Twice in previous verses Jesus relates that He shared God’s words with His Apostles. “I have given unto them thy words” (verses 8, 14) God gave the words to Jesus, Jesus shared them with His disciples and we than read their words. If you read the context – these words are God’s keeping power to keep Christians separate from the world.
The Apostle Paul, who had revelations, also encouraged Christians to read. “By revelation He made known unto me the mystery; … Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.” The Apostle Peter, who had a vision about Gentile converts, encouraged Christians to study. “We have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place.” (2 Peter 1:19) The Apostles had a special place at the beginning of the Church so they had revelations and visions to get the Gospel Church started.
If you’re not feeling close to God read the Bible, study the Bible, pray, watch for His leadings in your life. Are there possibly unrepented sins that are a barrier between you and God? Is your conscience bothering you? “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:8)
Jesus promised that if we obey Him, He will make His home in our hearts. “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23. When I feel distant from my Father, I go back to the basics. I search my life for where I am not conforming to His word. Then I begin to change it.
“Feeling” close to God can be a rather vague concept. Our feelings can come and go depending on our physical health, the burdens we carry, the trials of others around us or how much sleep we get – among many other things. Surface feelings can even be deceptive. (“The heart is deceitful” Jeremiah 17:9) But God “desires truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” (Psalms 51:6) So who are we when we are alone with God? What’s in our inward heart? Do we love God first and our fellow man? These are good questions for all Christians to consider.