Monday, November 30, 2009

Is God Near?

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Psalm 22:19 "But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me."
In life, have you ever wondered, "Is God near?" Well, God does not shrink from the troubles and problems that you have. Psalm 22:19-24 reminds us that God does not hide His face from our problems, and He does not hide Himself from us.

Who God is determines where God is. God is our Shield and Strength, but why in the world would you need a shield, a rock, or a high tower if there were no problems in life? God is near precisely when we have problems. I wouldn't need a high tower or a shield if I didn't have enemies!
So God does not flee trouble. But is there ever a time when God is absent? Absolutely! Do you know what Psalm 22 is? It is a Messianic Psalm. Some of the most famous lines in all the Psalms are heart-wrenching, prophetic words of Jesus Christ. He cried out the words of verse 1 on the cross: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Was God there at the cross, or did He forsake Jesus Christ? Did God turn His back on His only begotten Son? Our first inclination is to say no (God did not leave His soul in hell), but it is true that when Christ took your sins upon Himself, a holy God turned His back on His only begotten Son.
What does all this tell me? I can be living in prosperity but also in sin and God is nowhere near me. On the other hand, I can be living in holiness but also great trouble and God is near. If we are not careful, we can think that money, friends, and a lack of problems mean that God is near. At other times, we can think that the overwhelming problems we face mean that God is not near-but that is precisely when He is near!
So where God is at is a result of who God is. God is holy and God is a shield. God is a shield when I am in trouble, but God is holy when I sin. God's proximity to me is not based upon the absence of problems; it is based on my openness and obedience to His truth. God doesn't flee trouble, and He doesn't tolerate sin. You cannot control the problems you have, but you can control your obedience to Him. Sometimes we think that God is far away when He is actually near; sometimes we think that God is near when He is light years away because of our sin. Is God near? Well, I suppose that is dependent on who God is and what I am doing today . . .
Prayer Requests
1. Revival services tonight in Winona Lake, IN
2. BRR Couples' Retreat this week (12/3-5) 
Check for revival services and events in your area on our website:  
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

No comments: