If Nothing Separates Me From God, Why Does He Seem So Distant?

There are many reasons why God can seem distant. In the classic devotional “My Utmost for His Highest,” Oswald Chambers writes much about God’s silence.

We comfort ourselves and others with the truths of Romans 8:28-31: “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. If God be for us who can be against us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.”

In Proverbs 18:24, God is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. In Hebrews 13:5-6, God said He will never leave us or forsake us.

What To Do When You Can’t Sense God?

But where do we turn when we cannot sense His presence? When we pray and know that our prayers are bouncing off of the ceiling? When the darkness is so intense that we even doubt our salvation?

  • First, be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)
  • Second, wait upon the Lord that we may renew our strength. (Isaiah 40:31)
  • Third, pray David’s prayer found in Psalm 139:23-24:
    “Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see If there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Sin Divide Us From God

While it is true that nothing can separate us from the love of God, Isaiah 59:2 tells us that our sin can separate us from our fellowship with God:

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you that He will not hear.”

What parent hasn’t felt that break in fellowship with a child due to their willful disobedience? Our love for them doesn’t change but the relationship is strained. How much more does our Heavenly Father grieve over our sin?

Don’t Forget God’s Holiness

It’s possible, if not common, in our day to so focus on the love, mercy and grace of God, that we perhaps minimize His Holiness.

We lose sight of the enormous tragedy of Calvary. We forget that only by the shedding of the blood of our Lord Jesus is the remission of our sin possible.

We can be so blinded by the world, the flesh, and the devil that we can rationalize our sin. We relabel it as illness. And we shift blame to others. We that we adapt to sin, hardening our hearts to the point that we no longer experience conviction.

We Sin; God Doesn’t

That is a terrifying place for a believer to be. This is why David, the only “man after God’s own heart,” prayed for God to search his heart, realizing the propensity that he had for presumptuous sin of which he could be unaware.

Once, the sign in front of a church in Marietta read: “Can’t find God?  Guess who moved!”

There can be many good reasons why we can’t sense the presence of God. But it’s always good to allow a crack in the door for the possibility of something more serious.

Praying regularly for the Lord to search our hearts, checking for hidden sin, is always a good idea.  Especially in those times when He seems distant. Better safe than sorry!