When a person knows that God is there—but he can’t touch him, can’t see him—there should be a longing for God. Unless, of course, God is not in his thoughts. Then, if God is not in his thoughts, a man can walk through life with no awareness of God—no sense of God’s presence, no awareness of the closeness of God.
But when we are far away from God, whose fault is that? Has God left us, or have we just forgotten him? What you need to look for in yourself is not so much the presence of God, but the longing for God. When that returns, you will know you are not in the right place, and never will be until you are with him.
Think about Job, who said,
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. When I read that, I can’t help thinking that I am where Job was. I have heard of God with the hearing of the ear, but my eye has not seen him. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in God, but so did Job. I obey God, but so did Job. I pray to God, but so did Job. There is no act of righteousness that I have done that Job would not have done, and more. And that means that I am squarely where Job was. And that also means I very likely share his vulnerability. I want to tell you where this first began to dawn on me and what I think it means…