There are so many songs that express a desire to see God. Back when I was a kid, we had a song,
Open our eyes Lord,
We want to see Jesus.
To reach out and touch him.
To say that we love him.
Slightly more recently, there was another song,
Open the eyes of my heart Lord,
Open the eyes of my heart.
I want to see you.
I want to see you.
They’re both great songs, and I love them, but if we really want to see God in our lives, Jesus tells us,
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Why is purity so important? Because God is holy. When the angels sing at his throne, they don’t sing about his love, they sing about his holiness. (Okay, maybe they sing about his love too, but we never see a song in scripture that says, “Love, love, love, is the Lord God Almighty.”)
God tells us in both the Old Testament and the New to be Holy as he is. (Leviticus 11:44-45; I Peter 1:16).
God hates sin, and cannot be near it. And if we are covered in its muck, we will always find ourselves at a distance from God.
This is not to say that we’ll lose our salvation or that God will stop loving us, but we will never have the close relationship that he desires to have with us.
One time, I was talking with a friend in her garage, and her two year old daughter wandered off. When she came back, she had a sponge in her hand that her husband had used to clean grease off of their car. So now, the grease was all over her hands and her face, yet despite this, she reached out to my friend wanting to be picked up and hugged.
Needless to say, my friend did NOT want to do that, and so her daughter started to cry. So very gingerly, my friend picked her up from behind and took her into the house to get her cleaned up.
Many times, we wonder why we feel distant from God. We wonder why he doesn’t seem to hear our prayers, or why we never seem to sense his presence.
A good question to ask yourself is, “Am I covered with muck? Is my sin making God keep his distance from me?”
The writer of Hebrews tells us,
Without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)
A couple of notes. First, remember that though we may struggle with sin, God promises that,
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)
The key is that we always seek to keep a clear conscience before God. And to do that, daily repentance is essential.
The second thing is that just because God seems distant does not necessarily mean you are in sin. There may be other reasons (which is a topic for another blog). But repentance is a starting point. Ask God, “Is there something between you and me?” And if there is, God will let you know. I strongly doubt God will ever tell us, “Well, I’m not going to tell you what you did wrong because you should already know.”
So if he doesn’t point out any sin in your life, then know that there are probably other reasons for his silence. And in time, he’ll let you know what they are.
But everyday, you should ask yourself, “Is my heart clean before God?”