January 27, 2024

God is Near

Written by Tripp Prince

God pursues us with a greater intensity of love than we could ever muster toward him.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 27, 2024

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call to him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6, CSB

I was raised to pursue God. 

It’s no small thing for a creature to spend its entire life with not only an awareness of its creator but the belief that this divine being could be known and encountered through the mystery of prayer. And yet, this sums up my childhood and countless more like me. That said, I often had the sense that God didn’t want to be found! Or, at the very least, he made it quite difficult to be encountered, requiring great effort and exertion to catch even the faintest glimpse of his presence. 

Thus, the pursuit of his presence felt at times like hunting for deer in a deep forest, with every misstep sending him scattering further and further away. When this vision of God and his relationship to us is embraced, it often results in two tragic scenarios. 

On the one hand, to stick with our deer analogy, people are frozen in their lives with God, paralyzed by fear. Fear of making God angry. Fear of doing the wrong thing. Fear of stepping right when they should have stepped left. This posture assumes that God, like a flighty deer, is driven away by every wrong action or impure thought. Thus, the only solution is to stay deadly still, hoping he might eventually be lured out of hiding, unaware of our presence.  

Others simply abandon the “game” altogether. “If God is so hard to encounter and seemingly wants nothing to do with me, then why would I bother in the first place?” they say. When I think of this group, the winsome words of a wise pastor come to mind, who I once heard say to a man who had rejected faith, “Tell me about the god you don’t believe in. Chances are I don’t believe in him either!”

If your god demands that you pursue him, yet flees at the slightest sign of your presence, it is not the Christian God that you serve. 

Does God want us to pursue him? Of course he does! But what we must always hold near in our hearts is the truth that he pursues us with a greater intensity of love than we could ever muster toward him. God is near even when we are far away. In truth, we are the flighty deer, scared and scattered. What we need more than ever is to see that God – Father, Son, and Spirit – is not a hunter seeking to destroy us but is a shepherd who brings the lost creatures home.


Father, remind us afresh of your nearness and that you long to be encountered and known, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Find time in the next week to go on a walk in the woods, and as you do, prayerfully meditate upon the themes explored in this devotional.

Related Reading

2 Chronicles 15:2; Psalm 34:18; Philippians 4:5

Worship Resource

Jenn Johnson: Nearness


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