When they go with their flocks and herds to seek the Lord, they will not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them. (Hosea 5:6)
Whereas a person may believe that it’s possible to move so far away from God that, when he or she finally does seek Him, He isn’t to be found, such a belief simply isn’t true. Those who desire to truly know God can find Him when they pursue Him with a broken and contrite (remorseful) heart. When a person doesn’t approach God with such a spirit, however, God will likely be difficult to find.
One of the issues that the people of Israel had was that they pursued other gods such as Baal. Baal demanded sacrifices in order to both appease and bless the people. The assumption of the Israelites was that they could return to the Lord by offering the same perfunctory temple sacrifices that stemmed from appeasement more than from heart change. Appeasing the Lord was a game: sin all you want, and then offer the appropriate sacrifices so God isn’t too upset with you.
What God desired for Israel and what He desires for us is a broken heart that is yielded to Him.
God doesn’t want us to play the religious game; He wants us to pursue Him with our lives.
When we do that, God will be found welcoming us with open arms. When we don’t do that, God’s absence will be so conspicuous that it will seem as though He doesn’t even exist.
Lord, help me to pursue You only with a broken and contrite heart. Keep me from seeing You as a little “g” god who simply needs to be appeased. Instead, let me view You as You truly are: a good God who desires a relationship with me. Give me a spirit of humility, and reveal Yourself to me so I may truly know You.