Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.Isaiah 59:1-3
I don’t know about you, but I have experienced periods in my life when I believed God was not there or I did not believe He was hearing my prayer. I felt as though my words were stopped by an invisible barrier with a high insulation rating that did not allow my prayer to be heard by God. It seemed there was nothing I could do or say to change this narrative and there seemed to be a distance between me and my God. I have experienced moments of extreme closeness with God, which made these times of distance that much harder. I was like a puzzled doctor presented with a strange disease trying to solve the mystery of why I was not able to draw close to God.
I look back and realize I sought to understand God and why He put distance between us, instead of searching within myself to see what sin I was entertaining and not willing to let go of. Sin is always a barrier between us and God, and it us who puts up this barrier. God cannot change and He promises to never leave us or forsake us. I failed to acknowledge the own sin in my life, and I did not realize that I had walked away – I was the one who left. I am reminded of the story of the elderly couple who were driving down the road when the wife leaned over the husband and said, “you don’t sit close to me as you once did.” The husband leaned over and smiled and said, “I have always been the one driving.” We often do not notice it is us who has scooted away as God has been in His place the whole time.
God is able to hear our cry and our needs, but it is our sin that has put the barrier in the way. It is our pursuit of fleshly, sinful things that has turned our attention elsewhere. It is always easier to see God as the One who has shortened His arm when it us who has pushed Him away. His holy nature cannot tolerate sin, which was proven when He turned His back on His beloved Son. Our sin was the barrier that caused the Father to turn away from His Son, so who are we to think we could do whatever we please and expect for God to tolerate our sin? We must realize that the problem does not lie with our God, but it is buried deep in the wickedness of our heart.
How is your relationship with God? Do you feel distant from Him? Do you feel like His arm is shortened when it comes to answering your prayer? Will you blame Him instead of imploring yourself and asking Him to search your heart? Psalm 139:23-24 states, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” May we draw close to the Driver of our lives, and may we abstain from the iniquities that keep us from Him.