“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’” Acts 17:26-28a
“He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near.” Acts 17:27, The Message
Do you ever feel like it’s hard for you to find God? Like you’re in a dark room, feeling around, and you can’t find a light switch, or a door, or anything in the room that would clue you in to where you are? Especially if you’re new to a relationship with Jesus, or even curious about what it means to really have a relationship with Him, it can feel like everyone else has night vision goggles on, and you still can’t see what is going on.
The beautiful truth is that however you feel about knowing God, He’s near to you, even when you feel like you can’t see Him or hear Him. In Acts 17, Paul is in Athens, talking to a group of people who have idols for everything: gods of war, fertility, finances, harvests, you name it, they are worshiping a God for it. They even had a place to worship “an unknown god” (Acts 17:25). What Paul tells them is that these idols they are worshiping are nothing, that there is one true God who made the world and everything in it, including us, so that it would all point back to Him.
Regardless of where we are in our faith, we have been called to set aside those idols that keep us from God, and instead move towards Him. It can seriously feel like we are groping around in the dark trying to find Him! When I’ve been consumed with social media, attaining knowledge, or body image, I can’t see God as clearly. When I place these things on altars in my life, they fog my vision and move my attention away from God. But here is the best news: God is never far from me or you! He does not step away or hide from us in order to punish us for paying attention to other things. He doesn’t keep himself from us, but instead celebrates every step and stumble we take in order to move closer to Him.
God is right here with us, just waiting for us to turn and look at Him. Isn’t that powerful to know? The encouragement today is this: just take one step. Put your phone down, let go of the heavy things that are weighing on your heart and mind for one moment, and move closer to Jesus. Even when it feels dark, He’s right there with us, moving towards us even before we take our step towards Him.