When You Feel Distant From God
Recently, I almost crashed into a woman driving the wrong way around the roundabout. She had missed the “Keep Right” sign and nearly caused a multiple-car collision.
As I sat and waited for her to figure out the right way to go, I thought about ignoring the “Keep Right” sign myself. Not the literal sign, though. Rather, I was thinking about the spiritual implications. Was I keeping right with God, following his leading rather than mine? Was I ignoring his signposts in my life? How do I stay on the road?
We must seek him in his Word.
Blaise Pascal is quoted as saying,
“There was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words, by God himself.”
We only find depth of relationship with God by knowing him through Scripture. We can see evidence of his character in the past and know he is unchanging. We cannot expect to know him deeply just through short, checklist devotionals. The “infinite abyss” can only be filled with the incomprehensible, indescribable, omniscient God Almighty.
Scripture often uses the expression, “delighting in God’s law.” Even though sin waged war within him, Paul says in Romans 7:22, “For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being.” Psalm 1 says, “Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord.” Psalm 112 says, “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments.” Delighting in the Word can fill the infinite abyss.
But how can we know when we are really seeking God and not just going through a humdrum routine? Personally, I know when I am convicted of sin, grieved by it, and repent. I know when there is a change in my life through the application of God’s Word. I know when a difficult situation drives me to find answers and comfort in Scripture. I know when my Bible study comes to mind as I go about my day. I know when my desire to share what I’ve learned is to help others, not make myself look smart. I know when I react to bad circumstances with inner peace and calm. I know when I’m able to help a friend in a hard place, with words that are not my own.
Most mothers have probably experienced the feeling of not being able to find a child. Kids have a way of wandering off. We look up, we don’t see them, and panic sets in. Where did they go? They were just here. We start frantically looking, desperately seeking their little faces in the crowd. That same desperation is relevant in our pursuit of God. Not that we don’t know where he is, but that we would always desire our eyes on him.
In a warning to the Israelites, Moses said, “But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 4:29).
We should desire to seek the Lord, search for him, keep right with him, and help others do the same.