One of the most prevalent comments I hear from struggling Christians is that “God just seems distant right now.”
It can be one of the most discouraging and depressing moments for anyone that wants to have an active relationship with Him.
In truth, there isn’t a way to write 1 article to explain all of the possible reasons why God may actually be distant.
At times God may be refining us by withdrawing the feeling of His presence so we must act in faith instead of confidently “feeling” that He is close.
It’s possible that we’ve never truly known Christ but have begun to associate a great worship “experience” as God’s presence, or all the traffic lights turned green while you were in a rush and that must be a “God thing”.
For those who truly seek to be in God’s presence and are discouraged that He seems distant, the natural response I see from most is to devote themselves to some type of religious fervor like…
…listening only to Christian music.
…attending church every time the doors are open.
…doing intentional acts of kindness in the hopes that God will reward them.
…putting an extra $20 in the offering one week.
…using as many big “bible” words in everyday conversation to prove their committed.
…and the list goes on.
The real danger here is that religious fervor leads absolutely nowhere. Even the church leaders of Jesus day were focused on religious fervor and they literally killed Jesus instead of worshiping Him.
Before you jump to conclusions, the answer is not to stop listening to Christian music or to stop serving others. The secret is not to stop attending church or being generous to the church and others in need. The answer is way more counter-culture than that.
The answer is a complete conspiracy to many of the things that we are attempting to use to seek God.
28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. -1 Corinthians 1:28–29 (NIV)
There is an irrefutable relationship between humility and a vibrant relationship with God.
Even Jesus said that the gospel begins with repentance and repentance begins with humility.
James says it this way…
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. -James 4:10 (NIV)
How can you humble yourself before the creator of the universe, the author and finisher of our faith, the instrument of our salvation?
What is your purpose in wanting to draw closer to God? Is it to hear from Him, speak to Him, or get Him to sanction the sin that you have grown so fond of in your soul?
When we bow before God, we often find ourselves in His presence. That’s the blessing of the “humble conspiracy”.
The hard part is bending our knees…and more directly, our wills to Him.
God may be distant because you are being refined in your faith, right now. Or, it may be time to truly bow before Him.
Know that either way, God is not far from you.