Have you ever found yourself longing for a closer relationship with the Lord? Have you ever wondered why does God seem distant? What could cause me to feel distant from the Lord? It is not unusual as we walk along our journey to desire to be closer to the Lord.
James 4:8Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.  James gives us insight into how to draw close to God. and how turning away from sin helps us to come near to God. It is not God who is distant, but our sin that numbs us to God’s presence.
The Israelites Felt Distant from God for Twenty Years
During a time during the life of the prophet Samuel, the nation of Israel felt distant from God. 1 Samuel 7:2 The Ark remained in Kiriath-jearim for a long time—twenty years in all. During that time all Israel mourned because it seemed the Lord had abandoned them.  Why does God seem distant to the people of Israel? Was there a reason or were they just relying on their emotions?
The next verse gives us spiritual insight into the people’s hearts and why the Lord seemed distant. 1 Samuel 7:3 Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you want to return to the Lord with all your hearts, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Turn your hearts to the Lord and obey him alone; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.”
The people of Israel felt distant because they were involved in idolatry. When our hearts are focused on false gods our relationship with our Lord suffers. Also, unrepentant sin can cause us to feel distant. It is not God who is distant, but we who have distanced ourselves through our actions.
The Lord Wants Us to Draw Near to Him
The Lord is the Good Shepherd who continually calls back His lost sheep to the fold. Do you hear the voice of the Shepherd calling you to turn from your sin and turn toward Him? As we come back to the Lord, He calls us to take the next step of taking up the cross and following Him. The Lord knows when we give up our selfishness to follow Him it is best for us.
I don’t know exactly what picking up the cross and following the Lord will look like for you. But I do know that if we want to grow closer to God, we must turn away from the sin that is entangling us or the idols that are distracting us. Psalm 145:18 The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. 
Lord, show me what stands in the way of intimacy with You, and give me the strength to lay it down — for a season or maybe even forever. I long to be closer to You. No matter the cost. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Why does God feel distant? To hear more, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/faith-makes-a-difference-samuel