Over the last few days I have had several messages from friends who are struggling with their faith, feel far from God, confused about who and where God is. How is it that the God is omniscient and omnipresent can seem so hard to find?
1. Problem number one is that we don’t always seek God with our whole heart, – with everything that is within us. We are not willing to give up the pursuit of everything else in our lives in order to seek God with urgency, boldness and enduring perseverance. We allow busyness to distract us, sacrificing closeness to God for our career or social ambitions. Even our work for God can absorb our time in such a way that it leaves little space for drawing close to the eternal creator of our universe. How many of us when we feel far from God are willing to set everything else aside to seek after God until we once more feel the intimacy of the divine presence?
2. We don’t purse God with repentant hearts. Confession and repentance is something that has kind of gone out of fashion. How many of us take time on a regular basis to look into our own hearts and ask the hard question – what is separating me from God? What do I need to repent of and seek forgiveness for? There are many times in my life that I have clung to things that I know God wants me to let go of – possessions, attitudes, emotions that make it impossible for me to draw close to the lover of my soul.
Sometimes I have come to God with anger rather than repentance, or with self justification and arrogance rather than humility. Sometimes I don’t want to let go of my resentments or my anxieties. It is easier to hold onto these than it is to face the God who is love and then I wonder why God seems distant.
3. We are looking for the wrong kind of God. God is loving and patient and kind, slow to anger, quick to show mercy. God is just and righteous but also forgiving. God is generous and compassionate, the provider of abundance, the bringer of peace. And we cannot come close to this God without developing these same characteristics. It is no wonder God seems far away when we constantly ask selfishly for our own advancement, comfort and ease. We we are absorbed in ourselves we cannot recognize God or else the revelation of God is so blindingly magnificent that we cannot cope with it.
4.Our God is too small. Many of us are satisfied with a very small revelation of God. We should never be content to rest in our current knowledge of God. We should always be seeking to learn more of God’s love, absorb more of God’s truth and discover new ways to follow. God is far bigger, greater and more awe inspiring than any of us can imagine.
5. We are looking in the wrong places. How can we looking in the wrong places you might ask when God is everywhere? The trouble is that most of look for God with our heads and not our hearts, with our understanding and not with our imagination, with our reasoning and not our conscience. And we don’t encounter God quickly we get disillusioned and turn our backs.
You cannot meet God face to face and live the Old Testament prophets often proclaimed. God’s greatness passes all comprehension. God’s love and holiness is beyond our imagining. Even a glimpse of who this God really is will have us flat on our faces in awe and repentance.
We must grow like God, become the image of God, be transformed into the people that God intends us to be before we can truly see God and live. Only as we absorb the love of God into the depths of our being and allow the life of God to flow out through every word and action and thought are we able to draw close to the loving eternal God. This obviously is a never ending journey. I hope that you will continue to walk the path with us.
That is really good Christine. I would like to consider reprinting that in our church newsletter. Thanks very much! Coe
Thanks Coe and obviously you are welcome to use it. Probably have more reflections along a similar theme over the coming week
Reblogged this on GodNMyLife.
Great summary, I don’t know the verse, however, God will meet us where we are, right now, with all our defects, blemishes and sins. And he loves us no matter what we do or don’t do. Why do we hide? Because we are immature spiritually and it is hard to discuss ‘God”, most people RUN screaming when I bring up the topic!
How do most people reach God? Is there a feeling? Sense of peace?
Funny thing is, it’s hard to get Christians to talk about this, the only person is a friend who is an evangelical minister. Otherwise, there is an almost immediate negative reaction. I don’t understand why…negative historical propoganda? Not wanting to connect with the trruth?
Thanks Karen and I appreciate you reblogging this. When you say “I don’t know the verse” I am not sure what you are referring to. How do most people reach God – I think that is different for all of us. Some have a sense of peace, some have a feeling of a presence, some feel nothing tangible but have an inner assurance of God’s closeness – could write a whole book on that!
What a wonderful inspiring post. Many thanks..Nik
Thanks Nik. I appreciate your encouragement
Outstanding reflection, Christine. Western Christians find it very hard to approach God on his terms. We have too much ‘stuff’ and too many distractions. Jesus put it best of course: “The pure in heart shall see God.” What does it really mean to be pure in heart in the 21st century? Maybe that’s a subject for your next book…
Thanks Mark – sounds like a great idea for a book too but not sure that I have the right qualifications to write it
I reckon there are many who would say you’re perfectly qualified..I think this subject suits your individual expression..best wishes, Nik
Thanks Nik, will certainly pray about it – when I have finished my current book Return to Our Senses: Reimagining How we Pray. Or maybe I should include a chapter on this
I would say sin is what makes man hide from God while love is what draws a man closer to God. The more your love for God the closer He is to you