“But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” – Psalm 73:28
Have you ever felt like God was a long way off, like there was a chasm between Him and you that you just can’t cross? I don’t feel Him in my circumstances. My prayers are not answered. It is in these times I want to feel His presence pass over and through me, I want to hear His voice and His direction for my life. So I pray. I spend time reading and meditating on scripture. But nothing. Not even a whisper. What gives?
Our relationship with God isn’t based on a feeling. It is easy to imagine that following Jesus results in an endless series of miracles, burning bushes, still, small voices, warm fuzzies, goose bumps and sensations of peace that pass all understanding. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
Many of the most renowned Christians have admitted to walking through some trials in their life where they could not feel the presence of God, where heaven seemed quiet. David wrote this in Psalm 13” “O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?” And then there is the prophet Isaiah who was wondering, “When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you,” Isaiah cries out in dismay, “you have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins.“ ( Isaiah 64:1-7)
Many Christians assume that silence from heaven means something has gone wrong, that the inability to “feel” God’s Spirit means God has turned His face away. But this is not what God’s word tells us. I don’t know the full answer, but I know that part of it has to do with the fact that He wants us to walk by faith, not by sight; and walking by faith means sometimes pressing on even when we can’t feel or see Him.
- What do you think when God feels distant?
- What do you do to think of God, remember Him, or feel Him with you during your daily activities?
- What can we do this week to better feel God’s presence?