“If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” – Jeremiah 29:13-14. .
Let’s be honest. We all have those times in our lives when we feel lost, tired and alone. God seems distant, or you are preoccupied with something else because you haven’t felt His presence or joy in days or months. You keep asking yourself, “what am I doing wrong? Am I in a spiritual doghouse? Why am I facing this spiritual dry spell? How long will I be in this spiritual desert?” Most people yearn for the presence of God in their lives, yet there are times when His presence escapes us.
Consider Moses for a second. Moses led his people out of Egypt. In Exodus 33:12-13 we read, “…If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.” Basically, Moses wanted to know God and to be in his favor. Moses just wanted to see and experience his Father.
Think about that for a second. Here is Moses, who has had as much contact with God as any man in the Bible, throughout these verses keep asking for God. C’mon Moses, seriously: You met God at the burning bush. You experienced God’s power in the 10 plagues. You spread your hands and watched a sea become a road. You cracked a rock with a stick and it became a drinking fountain. You even saw God engrave two stone tablets with his law.
Moses had many encounters with God. The Book of Exodus records God revealing Himself, His purposes or His ways to Moses, and yet in spite of all that, he continued to want to feel the presence of God.
“Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.” (Exodus 33:15-17)
We all want to feel the presence of God. Unfortunately there is not always a definitive formula, a to do list that once completed results in the presence of God. But remember this when God seems distant. The God of the Bible is omnipresent, meaning He is present everywhere. The apostle Paul preached, “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples,” (Acts 17:24). When we relegate God’s presence to a certain time and place, we may unintentionally imply He isn’t present at other times or in other places. God is always near.
- Is anything making it difficult for you to see God’s presence in your life? Is there something you need to stop or start?
- If you want to see God, experience God, to know God’s presence you must look back and you will see where He has been. Agree or disagree and why?
- What are some of the subtle ways God reveals Himself to you? What are some of the most effective ways you’ve found of seeking God?