When God Seems Far Away

Dr. Lewis Gregory


“I don’t feel close to God anymore. The Lord seems so far away. I must need to get closer to God. But how can I get closer to God?”

These are just a few of the many comments that believers make about their waning relationship with the Lord. Could this also be your case? The harder you try to get close to God the more elusive He appears to be. It seems the more you struggle to close the gap, the more distant it becomes.

You may think that you are a terrible failure to the Lord. If so, perhaps you believe you have let the Lord down. You conclude that God must either be disappointed and/or mad at you. This causes you to feel guilty or condemned which leads to repeatedly praying, “Lord forgive me wherein I have failed you.” At this point you may even become depressed.

Does this describe any of your feelings? Actually, while you may not feel close to the Lord, the truth is you are. God’s Word in Psalm 139 makes it clear that there is no place you can go to avoid God’s presence. God is everywhere. Therefore God is present wherever you go.

If you have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart, God is not only with you He is also in you. In fact, God is not just in you, He is literally one with you. Your life has been brought into perfect union with Christ Jesus your Lord.

1 Corinthians 6:17 states, “he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” Can you get any closer than that? NO! When you are one with the Lord, you are as close as you can possibly get. In Ephesians 2:6 it says that we are seated with Him in the heavenly places in Christ. So you are in His presence. Christ even promised in Matthew 28:30 that He would be with you always. The Lord said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

The Bible makes it plain that when a person becomes a Christian, he is united to the Lord in an inseparable bond. This union with Christ is a bond that cannot be broken. In Romans 8:35-39, God declares that you can never be separated from Him. Therefore, due to the solidarity of your relationship, you are safe and secure in union with your loving Lord.

So, why don’t you feel close to God? It’s because you have been struggling laboriously in the energy of the flesh to no avail. For example, one lady retaliated with anger to those who hurt her. The result was a broken friendship. When you sow to the flesh you always reap the corruption of sin.

Such fleshly activity quenches the Spirit. This is why you don’t feel close to God. Therefore you no longer sense His presence. Nevertheless, His presence still resides in your spirit and you continue to remain one with Him. However, your fleshly dependency with the resultant sins is suppressing Him from expressing Himself through you. Thus you are unable to be filled with His presence and therefore cannot sense His presence.

This is simply an evidence of the failure that results from fleshly efforts. Naturally you are deeply grieved over such failures. According to Jeremiah 17:5-6, the arm of flesh will always fail you.

However, God understands failure. He is not mad at you, nor is He disappointed with your failures. Even the Apostle Peter failed the Lord. But the Lord was not surprised. He promised Peter that he would fail by denying Him. Christ also told Peter that while his spirit was willing his flesh was weak (utterly powerless). The Lord expected Peter to fail because He knew that Peter was relying on his flesh, which could do nothing but fail.

Likewise when you fail you are reaping the consequences of your fleshly efforts to meet your needs. A person will inevitably reap what he sows (Gal. 6:7). In order to experience the Lord’s life, you must give up your fleshly dependencies. As Hebrews 4:10 puts it, you need to cease from your human efforts.

You should stop trying to meet your needs your way (via the flesh). Rather, trust God to meet your needs in His time and in His way. He has promised to supply all your needs through His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19). But you must let Him!

Just tell the Lord, “I am sorry for such selfish attitudes. I confess the sins of (ask the Holy Spirit to show you). I thank you, that I am cleansed from all unrighteousness through the blood of Christ. I receive my forgiveness. I give up all fleshly efforts to live life. Take control of my life and fill me with the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is now my Lord, my Life, my All! Heavenly Father, I receive your unconditional love and acceptance of me. I praise you that I can now come boldly to your throne of Grace with the confidence that you will answer my prayers. Thank you Lord that I am now one with Christ, complete in Christ, and can do all things through Christ!”

Please pray this prayer as an expression of your heartfelt desire for the Lord. He is a loving Heavenly Father and He will take care of you!

Adapted from Introducing The New You, to read more…

Copyright©1990 Dr. Lewis Gregory

3 Responses to “When God Seems Far Away”

  1. Victor Tembo Says:

    Thank you for this in-depth explanation of how we are so united with our God. Every Christian needs to know this awesome truth!

  2. Aarty Hilberts Says:

    This was very encouraging and true! Thank you