“Oh that I knew where I might find Him.” Job 23:3

Have there ever been times in your life when God seemed far away? If you answered “yes” you are not alone. Job asked, “Oh that I knew where I might find Him”. (Job 23:3). Likewise, Isaiah was heard to say, “You are a God that hides yourself, O God of Israel”. (Isaiah 45:15)

Isn’t it ironic though, that we should have difficulty finding God when the very essence of salvation is God’s search for us? Jesus promised, “…seek and you shall find…” (Matthew 7:7) In spite of this promise and others like it, you and I on occasion may face obstacles in finding a deep sense of closeness with God. Here are some possible reasons why…

  1.  We don’t really take enough time to get close to God. Isaiah 44 speaks about a man who first provides for the necessities of life and then, only after these needs are met, does he take time to make a god and worship it. That’s often the way we approach God. First come the bare essentials, next, time for pleasure, and then, and only then do we consider God.
  2. We may have a misconception about our relationship with God requiring a lot of outward observances. For instance, the Pharisees viewed the correctness of their outward appearance, carefulness of diet and a host of other things as being most important. Yet, through these outward acts they did not find God.
  3. Often our search for God becomes an extension of our own selfishness. We don’t really want God, we want His blessing, and so we attempt to use God rather than allowing Him to use us.
  4. We are not ready to make the commitments Christ demands. We’d like to experience the blessing of His presence but are we ready to live the way He says we must? Nothing seemed to puzzle Jesus more than people who professed to be His disciples and yet refused to follow His teachings. He said, “Why do you call me Lord and do not the things I say?” (Luke 6:46)

While these are some possible reasons God may sometimes seem far away, let me say it again…The essence of Christianity is not man’s pitiful, stumbling climb upward to God, but rather God’s magnificent, glorious search for man. Through Jeremiah God promised long ago, “You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:3) Could it be that simple? Could it be that hard?