On a recent trip to Greece, I visited the Areopagus in Athens. Thousands of years ago, this rocky knoll was the site of a judicial court that had extensive authority over the civil and religious life of Athens. The Areopagus 1 also became famous for another reason—that’s where the apostle Paul preached to the city fathers. He brought them a message about the one true God, who created the universe and everything in it and whose Son, Jesus, had been raised from the dead. 2

After speaking of God’s greatness and magnificence, Paul told the Athenians of His kindness and proximity. He said that “in Him we live and move and have our being.” He is not an inaccessible being who lives distant from humanity. God is easily accessible, and His presence is very close to us.

King David also spoke of the universal and all-pervading presence of God when he said, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me” 3.

The Bible also encourages us to draw near to God and promises that He will draw near to us 4. It says that we “who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” 5. This isn’t talking about a nearness of distance, but a nearness of relationship. When a person who has lived with their parents all their life says that they’re getting closer to them, they don’t mean that they’re closer physically, but that they’re now getting to know their parents better and becoming more closely connected to them in heart and mind.

That’s how we, too, can enjoy an intimate relationship with God. That’s the kind of relationship He desires to have with us 6, and He assures us that we will find Him when we seek Him with our whole heart 7.

  1. or Mars Hill or Hill of Ares
  2. See Acts 17:22–31.
  3. Psalm 139:7–10 NIV
  4. James 4:8
  5. Ephesians 2:13
  6. John 17:3
  7. Jeremiah 29:13