There is a story from Jesus’ childhood where his parents left him in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-52). His parents get a day out on their way back home before realizing that he was not with them, and it takes another two days to find him. After leaving Jesus alone for three days, his mother shames him by blaming him for going missing. Jesus response was very direct: “you knew I would be about my father’s business.”
Here is a very interesting exchange. Substituting God for Jesus, this can be restated as the following:
Mary misplaces God and then blames Him for going missing. God then responds to Mary, you knew where I would be found.
Too often we get too preoccupied with our own thoughts and priorities; we don’t notice when God has moved to something else or is no longer with us. When we do notice Him not there, we question where He has gone as if it was His decision for us to be separated. A Christian without the presence of God is in a frightful place. Our life, security, and success all come from God going with us. This is why Moses told God, “if your presence doesn’t go with us, don’t send us from here” (Exodus 33:15).
If you feel alone from God, try these five ways to find God and to bring you back into His presence.
1. Go look for something that only He can do.
This is something I got from Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God, and it has helped me frequently. There are things man can do and things that God can do, but God likes to do things that only He can do through me and you. As we gravitate toward activities that only God can do, He opens Himself to us to be used by Him and engaged with Him.
2. Take risks.
God is attracted to faith (Hebrews 11:6). Faith is expressed through believing in God over what we can see. When we move toward people and engage with them about God’s love for them, God shows up. We can talk to them about the love of God expressed through salvation, financial provisions, release from depression, physical healings, satisfaction of dreams, etc. God cares deeply about people and when we choose faith that God is going to show up over what looks impossible, God is greatly pleased.
3. Be still and rest.
Sometimes we are too stressed to hear what God is trying to say. We need to cease from striving and wait on the Lord. Relax. Listen to some worship music or just be silent. Think about God’s love for you. He adores you and will be attracted to your heart opening up to Him (James 4:8).
4. Read the Bible.
This is not meant to be a way to force God’s hand, but we can allow our heart to engage and be transformed by the reading of the Scriptures. When we approach the Bible with the attitude of finding God, He can renew our minds to correct misinterpretations of God’s ways. Then we are opened up to be enlightened to where God is working in our lives now.
5. Pray with friends.
We are not meant to walk this life alone. God oftentimes makes us need others to enlarge His joy. He loves the unity of His children, and He will speak to us through others because it delights Him. It is in unity that God bestows blessings (Psalm 133). It is not meant to only be us and God. Are you looking for God? He could be hiding in the presence of another.
This is not meant to be a complete list, but I hope it gives you some tracks to ride on. God wants to be found. He says if we seek Him we will find Him. At the same time, He will not prostitute Himself by giving Himself freely to those who are not wanting to commit to Him. God wants to be pursued, and He wants to be found.