Hi everyone,I read a verse in isaiah 55:6 that says seek the Lord while he can be found and call on him while he is near. My question is , Are there times when we can’t find God and times when God is not near us ?
Morning, @Tabi-Boateng! This is such a great question, and one that I’ve often asked myself. And I imagine you will get different answers from different people depending on their experience. Here are some of my own reflections…
Are there times when we can’t find God?
Divine hiddenness seems to be a thing, doesn’t it? Jesus, understandably, needed to hide Himself so he could commune with the Father, but He also spoke in parables, which worked as a way to ‘hide’ a meaning. He even thanked the Father for hiding ‘these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children.’ (Luke 10:21, Matt 11:25) So maybe there will be times in our lives when it seems like we can’t find God. The reason behind His seeming hiddenness at any point is not for me to declare, but I do suppose we need to ask why we’re seeking Him out. Are we wanting Him to do something for us? Is God really hidden? Or the path before us hidden?
I am not of the mind that He would hide Himself entirely from any one of His children, but I do believe that to those whose eyes have not been opened in faith, He is hidden. Whether that is due to their own spiritual blindness or by Him cloaking Himself, I do not know, but I imagine both are at play.
Are there times when God is not near us?
Psalm 145:18 - The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
I think it depends on how close our relationship to Him is in the first place. If we are His children, then I believe the felt nearness of our relationship is mostly dependent on us…that is, it depends on how much I pursue Him and invite Him in to my life. The more I do this, the more I feel near to Him. The less I interact with Him and go about with my day on my own terms, the less I will feel any sort of intimacy of relationship. Whether or not God actually moves away from us when we move away from Him (in sin, esp.) is debatable. I don’t think He does. Though He may feel far away, He is not.
It’s very similar to our human relationships, I imagine. We may live with someone, and if there is strain in the relationship, even though they are physically present (or near) in the house, they may feel miles away.
So for Isaiah, ‘reaching out to the LORD while He is near’ is a plea to Israel to not neglect the most important relationship with the Ultimate Person, who is physically present with their nation. In those days, He dwelt in the Temple; after Pentecost, He now dwells with individuals in the temple of our hearts and bodies.
How would you answer that question from your own experience?
Thanks very much
God is omnipresent, everywhere at all times, but like Jacob at Beth-El, we don’t always know it.
He can only be found when we are looking for Him.