“How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?” Psalm 138:4.
My proximity to God is important.
When I claim to belong to Him, I will behave as He wants me to behave.
When my behavior is off, my relationship to Him has become messed up.
The Jews couldn’t be happy away from their beloved Jerusalem. Their temple of worship was far away from Babylon.
I have no excuse. God, through the Holy Spirit, is always nearby. I don’t have to travel anywhere to find Him.
If I’m not able to be glad in God, it is because I have damaged my connection to Him.
It seems so simple. If I will just examine my behavior, I can gauge my relationship to God.
The worst times are when I pretend to be close to God, but I am not. Sunday rolls around and I’m in church “praising” Him in song. What a fraud! To rightly praise Him I need to deal with what has been separating me from Him.
In the New Testament, there is Scripture warning those about to take communion that they must first get right with God. Could be confession. Could be a phone call or a visit. Faking a Godly relationship is folly.
I also know, according to 1 Peter, that if I am not treating my wife with respect and consideration, my prayers will be hindered. God is not mocked. He sees through me. I am blessed when He pricks my conscience and motivates me to make things right so that my connection to Him is restored.
Conclusion: If I am not close to God, I will not be able to authentically worship Him.