We often long to “feel” God in a more real, physical way. We desire to be emotionally affected by Him, to be conscious and aware of His presence, to be able to touch Him and see Him standing physically before us. Why? Why is that longing so strong in our hearts?
Because we are strangers in a beautiful, decaying tent called earth.
We are not meant for this place. Our true home is the new earth and the new heaven that is yet to come. And we must wait. We must hold fast with patience, clinging to the hope that is in our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, for it is not our time yet. The hour has not come to go home, because Abba has work for us to do here. He has things He intends to do in us and through us, for His glory, His kingdom, His lost children, and for our good. But while we are still here in this temporary abode, we can actually see Him a lot more than we thought.
He has given us an unfathomably valuable gift: His Holy Spirit. He lives inside us, taking up residence in our bodily temples. He makes us able to do all things good and holy. He works in us to waken our hearts and open our eyes to know Jesus, the Son of God. But that’s not all. Along with this tremendous blessing, we have even more that comes along with the Holy Ghost:
We all have them, whether we’ve known it or not. Scripture says so! All who are a part of the body of Christ bring something to the table through the power of the Holy Spirit.
That means you.
We can look to these gifts, not as the foundation of our faith, but as encouragement. I tell you: if you seek the beauty in the gifts that God has endowed you with, you will see His face.
However, I believe that the Lord purposefully withholds His presence the way we so desire sometimes for specific purposes:
To create an authentic, unwavering faith in us, to use us as a testament to those who don’t believe or do believe but are doubting, even when we can, not feel Him the way we want to, and to show us what ground we’ve rooted our faith in – the ground of emotions, or the ground of truth, that is the Word of God, God Himself.
The Lord is intentional in all that He does. He has nothing but good for us, whether it feels that way or not. We may not be able to sense Him in the way that we desire – in the way that would bring us the most comfort. But we should not be discouraged. We are not yet home, so we should not yet expect to always experience Him in the way we most desire. And sometimes He needs to hold back from us for His own purpose and glory, whether to make us firmer believers and followers, or to use us to testify about who He is.
When you find yourself struggling with feeling that He’s not near, remind yourself:
Your faith is rooted in the truth of Christ, not in your fleeting emotions.
He has promised never to leave us. He has promised to stay with us.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Is that enough for you? Do you believe?