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Seeking God When He Seems Distant

This article is written by Rachel Britton as part of the Deeply Rooted series. To submit a guest blog, click here.

Sometimes God seems distant when we seek Him, and there are many reasons why.

When we turn to scripture, do a Bible study, or read a daily devotional and it doesn’t “speak” to us, God can seem silent. We enjoy hearing from God but can feel disappointed when nothing stands out as a special word for us. Or we can pray and it feels like our words are just going into outer space.

If only we could experience talking to God like chatting to a friend on the phone or over a cup of coffee, then we would know he was paying attention and listening.

Then when crises occur, even though we turn to God, we can think we are alone. Our reaction can be to wonder why God is allowing difficulties to happen and to question His loving care for us. 

At times like these, we can acknowledge our feelings, but it is important not to rely on them. Rather, it is better to believe and trust what we know to be true about God as the truths of scripture are more reliable than our emotions.

…the truths of scripture are more reliable than our emotions. 

Rachel Britton ministries

So what does the Bible say about God when we seek Him yet He seems distant from us? Here are three truths we should remember at all times.

We never have to work our way up to God.

Throughout the Bible, we are reminded that God is the One who always makes the move towards us. God comes down to be with us.

Right from the beginning of the world, God came down to be with the first man and woman. In Genesis 3:8, God came to be with Adam and Eve as he walked in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day.

God was with His people in the wilderness as a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way during the day and a pillar of fire to give them light at night (Exodus 13:21). 

God sent His Son, Jesus, to be with us. Matthew 1:23 reminds us Jesus was called Immanuel, which means “God with us.” 

And then, God sent His Holy Spirit. Today, you and I have God dwelling within our hearts. 

God has never left us alone. He always makes the move to be with us and close to us. This is something to remember daily as we seek him.

God has removed the separation we created between Him and us.

Adam and Eve created the gap between God and humanity through their sin of disobedience. Even after they sinned, they distanced themselves from God. When God came to walk in the Garden, they hid amongst the trees in their shame. 

Yet, God’s plan of redemption through Jesus Christ removes our separation from God caused by sin. Jesus came to die as a sacrifice for our sins so our relationship could be made right with God and we can live with Him. 

How often do we hide, like Adam and Eve, rather than come out in the open and admit our wrongdoing to God? Yet, when we seek God and His forgiveness through Jesus Christ, we are welcomed by God into His presence as His children. 

Come humbly before God today in repentance for anything that is keeping you distant from God. Acknowledge your wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness.

God is not far from any of us.

The Bible is full of reminders that God is with us.

David tells us God is present with us in all places at all times:

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 

Psalm 139:8-10

The apostle Paul tell us the same…

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Romans 8:38-39

Even though God is holy and lofty, we can be assured that He is close to ordinary people like us. Nothing should make us think we cannot be close to God.

When we seek God, when we read His Word, pray, and when we turn to God in distress — we come near to Him and He promises that He will come near to us, too (James 4:8).

We come near to Him and He promises that He will come near to us, too

Rachel britton

Rachel Britton’s passion is to help you become comfortable and confident in your conversation with God. Subscribe to her blog “Praying Naturally” at rachelbritton.com and gain access to an extensive library of free prayer resources to help you deepen and develop your prayer life. 

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