“That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being. . .”
He’s as near as our next breath or heartbeat.
That’s what the Apostle Paul was saying in today’s Manna as he reasoned with the philosophers on Mars Hill in Athens that day (vv.16-34). And, even though some of them “mocked him for speaking on the Resurrection” (v.32a) and others said “We will hear you again on this matter” (v.32b), there were some who “clave (Grk. ‘kollao’—‘to stick to like glue, join one’s self to, keep company with, etc.’) unto him and believed” (v.34).
The question is, “Are we one of them?”
As Paul stood that day in the Areopagus and expounded to them this “new doctrine” (v.19), he reasoned with them about their divergent philosophies and desire to “cover all the bases” by erecting altars to every known god (vv.22-23a). He pointed out how they even had an altar to “The Unknown God” (v.23b) to make sure none had been left out and would subsequently get mad at them and punish them.
Using that as a springboard into the Gospel, Paul said “This ‘unknown god’ is the One I declare unto you” (vv.23b-31) and immediately began preaching Jesus and Him crucified and resurrected unto them.
No wonder they called him a “babbler” (v.18b), which really likened him unto a tiny sparrow hopping along the ground picking up crumbs.
But, that didn’t deter or dissuade Paul. And, neither should it deter or dissuade us.
Instead, we, like Paul, should boldly say “If you would seek the Lord, you would likely find Him—for He is not far from every one of us.”
Isn’t that a wonderful thought/assurance, Pilgrim?
Think of it:
Jesus, the Risen Lord, “is not far from every one of us.” He’s near when we rise up in the morning and when we lie down at night. He’s with us while we’re asleep and near us as we go through the day. He’s a “very PRESENT HELP in trouble” (Ps. 46:1) and “hears our cry when we find ourselves at Wit’s End Corner” (Ps. 107:26-30).
And, even during those times when we “feel after Him”—i.e., seek reassurance of His near Presence, but don’t “feel” anything—by faith we know He is near. . .for He has promised. . .is faithful (I Cor. 10:13). . .and cannot/will not lie (Heb. 6:17-20). Hallelujah!!
Years ago someone said, “There’s nothing you’re going to face today that God and you together can’t handle.” Perhaps we’d do better by saying “There’s nothing I’m going to face today that God can’t handle.” Why not spend a few minutes right now reflecting on Christ’s Presence with you as you remember He is our sparrow-watching, hair-counting, tear-catching Savior (Mt. 6:26; 10:29-31; Ps. 56-8—KJV)? Then, spend a few more minutes giving Him thanks and praise for Who He is and what He has promised (Heb. 11:6).
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated June 9, 2010