We all have times when we just don’t feel God’s presence in our lives much. When our quiet times feel dry and functional, without any depth or intimacy with God. When our prayers feel like they are bouncing off the ceiling. When we just wonder where God is.
Yet, the Bible tells us that God turns His face towards us, that He is so close it is like we are face to face with Him. So what can prevent us from knowing God’s presence in our lives? How can we recapture that feeling of closeness? How can we feel like we are face to face with God once more?
We all have up and down times in our faith. There are times when we feel really close to God.
When we discover new things from reading the Bible every day and we are excited as we grow in His truth.
When we have been part of exciting, stirring, emotional worship where we have seen the power of the Holy Spirit at work.
Then there are the times when we have doubts in our faith, feel far away from God and struggle to make that connection when we come into His presence.
The thing is however we feel in our relationship with God, we can be assured by what the Bible tells us about the reality of the presence of God in our lives. We may not always know where He is and wonder if He has left us, but the Bible promises that we are face to face with God.
For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
1 Peter 3:12
There are encouraging truths which we can glean from this verse -
1. The righteous are face to face with God
If you have accepted Jesus into your life then you are called righteous because of Him. You may not always feel like it, but it’s true.
God promises that His eyes are turned towards the righteous. His eyes are turned towards you.
I remember when the children were babies and I spend those long, tortuous, sleepless night,s rocking and shushing a crying baby and I wondered where God was in it all.
I have been through many dry times in my faith when, despite my efforts to connect with God in my quiet times, it felt like I was just going through the motions.
I suffered the pain of a failed ministry, during which I lived somewhere that no longer felt like a comfortable place to call home and I wondered if God really knew about my suffering.
But despite all this there has not been a moment in my life that God has not seen and walked through by my side.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And your right hand will lay hold of me.
2. God is always face to face with you and hears your prayer
Sometimes we may feel like our prayers go unanswered. We may have prayed the same prayer for many years and wondered if God is really listening. We may be longing to see a breakthrough in our lives and still God seems to be silent.
Yet, in these wonderfully encouraging verses from 1 Peter we are assured that God is always listening. He always hears our prayers.
Our prayers are never wasted. We may not always understand what God is doing in response to our prayers, but be assured He is doing something. Listening to us. Comforting us. Caring for us. Changing us.
Waiting for answers to prayer is never a passive process, it’s always an active process with God. When we pray it changes our heart. We grow a little closer to God, understand a little more of His will and grow a little more like Him.
We may not always know God’s presence in our lives and sometimes we might wonder where God is. But be assured He is with us. All. The. Time.
We have the amazing privilege of living our lives face to face with God.
See the miraculous in your life today. Know that you are face to face with God and He is right by your side. In everything you do. In the good, the bad and the ugly.
Photo credit – Julia Freeman-Woolpert from stock.xchng