@bfitzsimmonds. Your writing reminded me of a song, sung by Larnelle Harris.
I Miss My Time With You
"There he was just waiting
in our old familiar place.
An empty spot beside him
where once I used to wait.
To be filled with strength and wisdom
for the battles of the day.
I would have passed him by again
if I didn’t hear him say.
I miss my time with you.
Those moments together.
I need to be with you each day
and it hurts me when you say,
you’re too busy.
Busy trying to serve me.
But how can you serve me
when your spirit’s empty.
There’s a longing in my heart
wanting more than just a part of you.
I miss my time with you."
I think Jo Vitale may have been alluding to that condition. It is so easy to go through familiar motions, often our routines provide a place of comfort. Our acquisition of knowledge makes us feel a sense of legitimacy. Those attributes play a part, but perhaps a smaller part than we acknowledge. I think those practices are valid and serve the purpose of ‘marking the spot’ until, as SeanO has said; your practice catches up with the reality of GOD.
Additionally, your writing also brought to the center, a thought I have been dwelling upon. For all the emphasis we place upon the preparedness and education of Apologetics; very few of the foundational Apostles were educated. And the Apostle Paul counted all he had learned as dung. The Saints knew that practices and education alone were not sufficient for a successful walk with GOD. I often think if GOD would use a donkey as His mouthpiece, then I should remember; it is the Spirit of GOD that brings light and life. Not anything upon which, I might place a label of proficiency.
When I find myself out in spiritual outfield I get quiet and become inwardly focused. I don’t tell the Lord how to fix me I just repent and asked to be reconnected. GOD is faithful and always reconnects my heart to my actions and reveals what had led me astray. That can be as simple as how or what I am eating, online streaming, body maintenance; you name it! I am human, it does not take much to distract me. No wonder He tells us to "let His mind be in us.
Thank GOD for that sense of separation. Thank GOD for the longing that remains in my heart. I believe that it is possible to conduct myself in such a state beyond the point of danger. Those are usually times that ‘besetting sin’ is more likely to capture my flesh and after a while my heart. The human sentiment, nor human knowledge will ever be enough. We truly need GOD/JESUS/HOLY SPIRIT. We really need Him.
“O precious is that flow. That makes me white as snow. No other fount I know; nothing but the blood of JESUS.” Robert Lowry 1876. (Ephesians 6:10-18. Philippians 3:5-11.)