For the Child of God, sensing or perceiving God may not be instinctive nor constant. Surely, there are days (and there will be days!) when you donâ€™t feel close to the Father. At times, it may seem that He is so far away. Where is He? Why donâ€™t I feel Him? Is God there? Is He here?
God is Omnipresent
If itâ€™s your first time to come across this word, it simply means that God is present everywhere and at all times. There can be no place in the whole universe right now where God is NOT. He is simply here, there, and everywhere; all at the same time. In Jeremiah 23:24, God Himself says that there canâ€™t be a place where man can hide for: “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?”, declares the LORD. Job 34:21 says that â€œGodâ€™s eyes are on the ways of a man, and He sees ALL his steps.” (NASB)
Psalm 139 is a song David composed during one of his mediations. This passage explains much about the omnipresence of God. In verses 7-10, he sings,
â€œWhere can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.” (NIV)
To the believer who longs for intimacy with God, this passage brings great comfort and assurance. We know that God is here, with us, guiding us, sustaining us. To the wayward Christian however, that may be a different story. What might come are feelings of guilt, then resentment, then bitterness, then resistance, and then finally- denial; all these may step in.
Sin will always bring separation. Isaiah 59:2 says,
â€œBut your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (NIV)
When man fell, sin separated him from God. Adam and Eve could no longer have free access and view of God because of the sinful nature they both possessed. Years later, by faith and acceptance in Christâ€™s finished work on the cross, the repentant sinner was gifted with salvation and reconciliation. Yet, as a child of God, saved by grace through faith, walking in the light and power of Godâ€™s transforming Word through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, man can still be separated from God. There can be spiritual estrangement for the man who harbors sin in his life. This is why a child of God must be careful to maintain a heart of surrender, cleansing himself of willful sins that hinder him from experiencing a vibrant relationship with the Father.
Ignorance is a Problem
The only way to feel close to someone is to know the person. You can never nourish intimacy without regularly staying in discovery of and communication with each other. The other person must be in your life and you must be in His. Acts 17:27-28 says,
â€œThis was so that they would seek God if perhaps they might grasp for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. 28 For in Him we live and move and exist [that is, in Him, we actually have our being]. AMP
II Peter 3: 18 shares that we grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. One great blessing we have at this time and age is that we have ready access to the Holy Bible at all times. With advancements in technology, the prospects for growth in the reading and study of Godâ€™s Word are even more promising. The Christian will mature if he wants to. He will know God and be intimate with Him and His dealings if the Christian wants to.
Trials May Breed Doubt
Job was a man who loved God. He wouldnâ€™t have been perfect but He sought God and longed to learn of Him through life experiences. He lived righteously and was careful to surrender to God any uncleanness he may have in his life and even in the life of his children. He experienced Godâ€™s presence. He knew from experience that God was always there. However, in a great time of difficulty and tragedy, His spiritual steadiness was shaken. He no longer felt God. He doubted Godâ€™s love and presence. Job 23 shares those moments of doubt and confusion.
In this broken world, there will be hardships, pains, failures, and all sorts of struggles. Jesus Himself prepared us for this truth when He said that we would face tribulation in this world. Humans as we are with our limited minds, we may begin to doubt Godâ€™s care and even His companionship. Yet, Christ assures us that there is no need to fear those times because He has overcome the world. From Philippians chapter 4 and verse 13 we know that, in Him and in His power, we will have the strength to face all things. He is always here.
So, yes, God is there, and even better, God is here. When you reach a point in your life like Job, remember these:
â€œAnd we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 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 8:28,37-39 NIV