August 22, 2018

Many Christians believe they can continue to live as they currently do and still walk with God. That thinking is akin to the thought that one can continue to do what one has always done and expect new results. But life proves that to be false. To get different results, you must change your behavior.

The Dictionary defines “gap” as, a separation in space. It is the difference between where we are and where we want to be. The Bible describes a Spiritual Gap as, “A separation between you and your God” (Isaiah 59:2).

Spiritual Gap is a space between where a person is and where they should be in their walk with God. The Deviation Point is the point which a Christian turns or wanders from the path God designed for them. The separation is the result of our sinfulness and disobedience—the failure to conform to God’s standard of right behavior. The gap is always the result of disobedience and evidence of not trusting God.

An example of a spiritual gap and its effect is Adam and Eve’s failure to conform to God’s standard of right behavior—they were not to eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the Garden. Their disobedience was the first sin and created a rift between them and God.

God reveals to Adam and Eve their spiritual gap with His first question, “Where are you?” Their perfect walk with God ended. Disobedience caused the first spiritual gap. God came to walk with His creation; but Adam and Eve had sinned, and therefore, instead of joyfully joining God, they attempted to distance themselves by hiding among the trees of the garden. Sin (disobedience) caused them to experience guilt, alienation, and separation from God.

The Gospel of Matthew gives an excellent example of an individual experiencing a spiritual gap. A young man—a wealthy young ruler—came to Jesus with the question, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” In short, he was asking, what must I do to move from where I am to where I should be?

Jesus answered him, “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

The young man responded with another question, “Which ones?” “You shall not commit murder;” Jesus replied, “you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:18-19).

The young ruler proudly explained that he had kept all these commandments from his youth. But even in this boast, he knew there was a gap between where he was spiritually and where he desired to be.

At this point in the conversation, Jesus gave the young man three actions steps he must take to eliminate his spiritual gap and began a walk with Him. 

  1. Go and sell your possessions, and
  2. Give to the poor, and
  3. Come, follow Me

Matthew records that when the young man heard this, he went away unhappy because he owned much property. When challenged to close his spiritual gap by selling his possession, giving to the poor, and walking with Jesus, the young man chose to leave. His spiritual gap remained, forcing him to continue walking a different road.

The gap may be narrow, or it may be wide. The magnitude is a measurement of the distance between where a Christian should be walking in his or her life and the actual walk.

A spiritual gap occurs when a person fails to walk with God. The reason for the failure usually lies close at hand, even at your doorstep. You may have to look hard, but you won’t have to look far for the reason you are not walking with God. A wise person once said, “Few blame themselves until they have exhausted all other possibilities.”

The thing that prevents us from walking with God is the feeling of guilt that is the results of disobedience and sin. Guilt must be overcome and removed before restoration of fellowship. In every case the cause of a spiritual gap is the same; mankind’s refusal to submit to God’s sovereign rule and to conform to His standard of right behavior. 

When we attempt to close our eyes to a spiritual gap, we are in essence trying to hide in the trees. But guilt cannot be hidden, and there is no refuge from God.