And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ…. 2 Corinthians 5:18
Paul encouraged the Athenians by reminding them that God was not far from any one of them, that it was He in whom they lived and moved and had their being. Yet men think of Him as farther away than the farthest star. The truth is that He is nearer to us than we are to ourselves!
But how can the conscious sinner bridge the mighty gulf that separates him from God in living experience?
The answer is that he cannot, but the glory of the Christian message is that Christ did! Through the blood of His cross He made peace that He might reconcile all things unto Himself: “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” (Col. 1:21, 22).
The new birth makes us partakers of the divine nature. There the work of undoing the dissimilarity between us and God begins. From there it progresses by the sanctifying operation of the Holy Spirit till God is satisfied.
That is the theology of it, but even the regenerated soul may sometimes suffer from the feeling that God is far from him. Put away the evil from you, believe, and the sense of nearness will be restored. God was never away in the first place!