If we are honest with ourselves, we don’t always have the feeling that God is relevant to our everyday lives. I don’t mean in the overall sense of knowing God’s plan and purpose. I am thinking of something more up close and personal.
The longer time goes on, with the subsequent increase of corruption in our societies, the more difficult it is to feel the personal closeness of God — that He is there for us on a real and personal basis. We may have understanding in our head, but the daily reality may seem distant.
From what we read in Psalms, we can conclude that King David wrestled with this problem as well. He wrote of times when his feet almost slipped from the godly path as he dealt with a hostile environment. The wicked around him were prospering while he struggled with negative life situations. He describes how so many of those not living God’s way of life seemed to be living in comfort and wealth.
As Job contemplated his difficult situation, he made a clear observation of this dichotomy. “The tents of robbers prosper, and those who provoke God are secure – in what God provides by His hand” (Job 12:6).
King Solomon walked both sides of the line. He experienced the goodness of God, but he also joined the wicked in prospering in their evil ways under the influence of pagan wives. He later observed, “Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them; For their heart devises violence, and their lips talk of troublemaking” (Proverbs 24:1). What was the basis for this conclusion? Surely it is that it requires a long-term focus to be able to read the present in a way that brings God to become a close personal reality in our lives.
The reward for living a godly life is not found in tangible physical things – although God certainly does provide physical blessings. But the physical is not a good measure of the spiritual. Spiritual blessings can be accompanied by physical blessings, but they are not dependent upon them.
This is not God’s world. Stating that does not disavow God as the great Creator and Sustainer. He is simply adopting a general hands-off approach and letting man decide for himself how to live. It will not always be this way. A day of reckoning will come for those who follow Satan’s way – knowingly or not.
God tells us not to get upset by the success of evil. “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. … Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret – it only causes harm. (And here is the ‘step back and see the big picture’ admonition:) For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth” (Psalm 37:1, 7-9). Waiting patiently on the Lord in the present is enhanced by a clear view of the future. This requires a spiritual state of mind.
What we are and what we have is essentially spiritual in nature. Human eyes cannot see that. We have to use God’s Spirit to focus our minds in response to the evil environment. “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me. But those who seek my life, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth” (Psalm 63:6-9).
God is very close to us. But physical eyes cannot see Him. “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fulness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light” (Psalm 36:7-9).
God has made a covenant agreement with each of us. His faithfulness to that covenant is without question.
He is close to us – we just have to walk in His light in order to see Him.