Some mornings I wake up not feeling very close to God. It was one of those mornings earlier this week. I read some Scripture and prayed a bit before hopping in the shower. But as I said goodbye to my wife, I admitted that I didn't feel much intimacy with Christ. There were no major problems at home or work. My ministry was going well. Jesus was Lord of my life. And yet there was this spiritual dryness that made me long for another drink of the living water of Jesus. How could I sense that closeness to Him once more?

That morning I wrote in my diary:

I long for that Father/son relationship with You, Lord, where I know You are there for me. Where I weep when reading the story of the cross, knowing that my Savior died for me. But today I feel so dry and distant from You. Please show me the way.

I read of one believer who said that when he struggles he's learning to run to You, not away from You. I want to do the same. I'm running to You, Jesus, because I desperately need You. Please reveal Yourself to me in a powerful way and give me faith to trust You even when I don't feel You near me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

What a great reminder!

Later in the week I read these encouraging words from Michael Horton about the work of the Holy Spirit:

So much of contemporary spirituality and piety is focused on self. "How am I doing spiritually? How is my walk? Am I living in victory?" Reformation spirituality lifted people out of a purely introspective, inward-looking piety and directed them outside of themselves to Christ and the cross, from which vista they could now look out across the needy world. ("In the Face of God", Word Publishing, 1996)

What a great reminder to continually come back to the cross and know that my salvation is not based on my feelings, how much I surrender, or how "spiritual" I may be that day. Our standing before God depends entirely upon His mercy displayed to us through the shed blood of Jesus. As we rest in that forgiveness, by faith, the Holy Spirit frees us to love God and love others with vigor and joy. As God promises us:

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NLT)

Not even a bad mood.