Something from A. W. Tozer grabbed my attention. He spoke of the distance between a person and God not being that of distance but of character. You could put an angel and an ape in the same room and even though their distance would be a couple of feet, their character would make them millions of miles apart because there would be no compatibility or understanding of friendship.
One man commented to a Jewish Rabbi that when Adam and Eve had sinned, God was walking in the garden of Eden asking, “Adam, where are you?” And the man asked, “If God knows everything, why didn’t he know where Adam was?” The rabbi said, “Oh God knew where Adam was. But Adam didn’t know where he was himself. Adam was lost, not God.”
God is not far from you or me or anyone in distance. He is omnipresent (meaning He is everywhere at all times!). So God is near to everyone. But to some He may as well be millions of miles away because He is so distant from them in character.
This is why Paul said in Ephesians 4:17-19 that we should “no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to their hardness of heart.”
All of us have to be on guard. When God seems very distant to me, I know I need to take time to examine myself. How do I do a self-exam? I ask the basic questions first: Have I been spending time talking with Him? Have I been spending time in His word to listen to Him? Have I been in fellowship with other believers or have I for whatever reason(s) been isolating myself? Have I been worshiping Him faithfully with others and privately? Then more probing questions: Am I harboring some unrepentant sin? Am I out of fellowship with another believer? Am I loving all people or am I nursing a grudge? Am I gossiping? Am I angry about something?
2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.”