Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Close to God

WHEN GOD FEELS FAR AWAY

 

“God… is not far from any one of us.” Acts 17:27, NIV)

 

In times of crises, whether they be personal or national, such as the

terrible tragedy that happened 9-11 in New York and Washington,

people everywhere ask, “Where is God?” and “If God is a God of love,

how could he allow this to happen?”

 

As the Apostle Paul said to the ancient Greeks at the Areopagus

in Athens, “God is not far from any one of us.” Furthermore, God

is continually broadcasting his love, power, blessings, and presence

to all of us, but it’s the barriers in our life that block our “tuning in”

to God’s presence and his love. It’s our receptivity that is at fault.

 

Barriers that block our feeling close to God can be caused by unresolved

negative emotions such as anger, resentment, hurt, grief, guilt, and so on.

These can be caused by an impaired relationship with a spouse, child,

sibling, parent or other significant person in our life, or by unconfessed

sin, by not living in harmony with God’s will, or by having neglected

our spiritual life. When we starve our souls, God does feel far away.

 

In times of crises and national tragedies God is where he always was.

It is we who left God and not God who left us. Furthermore, bad things

happen to good people because we live in a world contaminated by

mankind’s sin where both good and evil abound. Also, God has given

every one of us a free will. We are not puppets on a string. We have

the freedom to choose the way we want to go. Some choose the path

of God and goodness. Others choose the path of evil, the way of Satan,

the devil.

 

And until the Lord returns to earth to put down Satan and all evil,

there will always to be a conflict between good and evil.

 

The important things is as Joshua said to the ancient Israelites,

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me

and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15, NIV)

 

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, I choose to love, serve and follow you.

When I feel distant from you, please help me to realize that it’s not you

that is far away -- but me. Help me to see the barriers in my life and

lead me to the help I need to resolve these. And I pray for our enemies.

Grant that they will turn from evil and choose to serve you. Gratefully,

in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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