We have many promises in the scriptures offering peace and contentedness, but with a condition: that you remain close to God! "Prone to Wander Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I Love" are hymn lyrics1 with which we can all identify. Peace and contentedness are possible. The more we conform to the conditions set forth by the scriptures, the more we will have the peace God offers.
So how's your walk with God. I've constructed a list of conditions for self-evaluation. Here it is in a nutshell: Seek the strength of the Spirit, effectively deal with guilt, spend time with Christ-loving friends, submit to Him in your thinking, feeling and doing, and serve Him using the gifts he's given you. Get started today improving any of these items. God promises in His word to richly bless those who walk with Him (many scriptures can support but see Psalm 1 for instance).
Use the list below for occasional self-checks. Take a look and evaluate how your doing:
Walk With God Self-Check
Trying to please God? Your own strength is not enough. You will never please God by your efforts. “Put on the full armor of God,” and “be strong in the strength of the Lord.” (Eph. 6)
Guilt must be dealt with. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t minmize your sin; either extreme is a problem. Confess your sin (1 John 1:9) and repent. (1 John 2:5)
Spend time with Christ-loving friends. Isolation weakens. Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) Do not neglect meeting with believers. (Heb. 10:25) "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." (Matt 18:20).
Examine what you do. Are these activities glorifying to God. As often as possible imagine that Christ is actually with you (because He is!). Hold fast to that which is good and abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thess. 5:21-22) 5) Examine your thought life. Take the Psalm 1 challenge and “meditate on His word day and night.” Real and lasting Godliness is only complete with a renewing of the mind, not just changing behavior. (Romans 12:2)
Are you rejoicing today? Terrific! If not, talk to God. Don’t push feelings away, this only leads to confusion. Talk to Him, He wants to comfort you. (Matt 11:28) But don’t wallow in your emotions. Keep this in mind: thoughts cause feelings. Renew your mind by meditating on God’s truth, and your feelings will renew.
Actively serve God. Consider this verse, “Pure and undefiled religion is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27) What are your gifts? Use them to God’s glory.