Does the Bible Really Say “God Is Distant”?
Written by PI Contributor | November 27, 2018
by Ida Ploug Pahus
Sometimes when life gets tough and God doesn’t answer our prayers or give us clarification, it can seem logical to think that God is distant. I have definitely gone through long, hard and dry seasons in my relationship with God where I questioned where He was. These are really difficult seasons to go through, and this post is by no means diminishing that. To long for God and to hear Him is a good longing, for sure—a longing I’m sure God takes delight in. But are our feelings of God being distant the same as Him actually being distant?
Hebrews 13:5 says that God will never leave you nor forsake you, and in Matthew 28:20, God says that He is with you always, even to the end of the age. God is never distant, but we sure can be. Things can cloud our sensing of God’s presence, like sin. But sometimes, just like a friend, I think God wants us to seek Him with our whole hearts and run after Him with all we’ve got. He wants us to see how far we are willing to go in order to see Him.
Numbers 23:3-4 tells us the story of the prophet Balaam wanting to meet with God. Therefore he climbs up on a hill to meet with God. I find this very interesting. He could have waited for God by going on with his daily tasks or just plainly have had the desire in His heart. But no, his desire to meet God makes him take action. It makes him go climb the hilltop, and surely, God meets him on the hilltop.
Jeremiah 29:13 says something very similar: “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.” The verse in Jeremiah informs us how we can find God when we actively seek Him. Our desire for God needs to show in our actions. Just like a friendship cannot be a friendship if it’s only one-sided and it’s only one person who takes the initiative to hang out every time, the same is true for God. He wants us to seek Him. To long for Him with our whole hearts. He wants your friendship so, so much because He loves you.
Sometimes, even when God feels far away, we need to rely on our knowledge that He is there. As I have talked about before here on Project Inspired, we cannot always trust our feelings, but we can wholeheartedly trust God and His Word when He says He is always with us. So seek Him and wait for Him, and He will be found. He is never distant, but sometimes He shows up in unexpected ways. He is not a tame God, He doesn’t obey us, but He sure longs for our friendship. And this friendship with God is a friendship we should be willing to pursue more than any other friendship in our lives. Our friendship with God is the single most important and life-changing friendship we will ever have.
So how far are you willing to go when you want to meet God?