Have you ever heard someone say (with all sincerity) they could “feel” God’s presence was nearby, or that they could “feel” God’s that Will was pulling them in one direction or another?

Maybe you’ve never felt that way and wondered what you were doing wrong. Rest assured, you’re not getting the cold shoulder from the Almighty.

Actually it seems more likely that the person who says they are “feeling” something is not feeling what they think they’re feeling. They think God is non-verbally communicating to them, sending them implicit signals that they are on the right or wrong path. The Bible, however, does not describe God’s communications with man in that way.

First of all, God is present everywhere. There is no special place you can be where you will suddenly “feel” more of God than somewhere else. There is no focal point of Divine energy hidden on planet earth. It’s not in Jerusalem, it’s not in Salt Lake City, it’s not in the middle of Italy. God is omnipresent; He’s everywhere at all times. So if someone says they suddenly feel God with them, it’s very likely not God suddenly popping up to say hello.

Secondly, God’s presence (which is universal) is not directly related to the revealing of His Will. As said, God is everywhere and is not anywhere in particular. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a specific place to “go” to “find” God’s Will. You can find it by opening His Book and reading it for yourself. I don’t need to “feel” God wooshing through my body to know He’s (1) real, (2) present, (3) active and (4) concerned about me personally. I know all of those things because the Bible tells me so.

Finally, God’s presence is a thing to be known, not felt. A faithful child of God will feel things, certainly. He will feel gratitude in response to the Grace of God. He will feel shame in response to his sins against God. He will feel love in response to the offering of the Son of God. But those feelings are based on what we learn about God, from God’s Word. You know God is a Gracious God because His Bible tells you so (James 4:6). You know your sin wounds God’s heart because His Bible tells you so (Isaiah 59:1-2). You know God offered Jesus to die for your sins because your Bible tells you so (John 3:16). Without the Bible, would you know what to feel? No. Without the Bible you’d have nothing to feel about God.

God inspired an amazing Book. It’s a shame so many people are willing to disregard it and instead follow “feelings.” Listen, feelings come and go. Eat a bad burrito and you will feel all the feelings right here (I’m pointing at my stomach). But feelings only matter when they are understood to be reactions to something. The kinds of feelings that keep us on the right path, spiritually, don’t just suddenly come upon us; they come from a daily study of God’s amazing Bible!