Have you ever been in one of those seasons when you so desperately wanted, needed to hear from God? You have prayed persistently and nothing, no word, no feeling of His presence. Heck you have even gone to church every Sunday, took dinner to a sick friend, visited your great-uncle in the nursing home, and fed the homeless’ Of course He should be answering your calls today, right now…Right?
John 8:47 tells us, ” Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
I have to be quite honest, I struggled with this verse for some time. At the age of 8 when I was in second grade I chose Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I felt like I belonged to Him then, and I did, and so do you when you accept Him has your Lord and Savior. We do belong.
So why is it then, that we have these seasons of feeling like God is not present or He is not hearing us in our desperate times when we belong to him? Like I said earlier, we have done all of these good works this month. Why aren’t we getting our prayers answered?
Let’s dig a little deeper shall we. Anyone can do a good deed from time to time. I know quite of few people who do amazing service work in their communities that are not followers of Christ. Putting good works a side for a minute, because they are important but they aren’t the end all be all, let’s look at what else we are up to in our daily lives.
In John 8:47, Jesus was speaking to the Jews who were not following Gods commandments. I love how Barnes’ Notes on the Bible explains this,
“Listens to, or attends to the doctrines or commandments of God, as a child who loves his parent will regard and obey his commandments. This is an evidence of true piety. A willingness to receive all that God teaches us and to obey all his commandments, is an undoubted proof that we are his friends”
There are many verses in scripture that tell us we need to follow God’s commands to belong to Him. John 14:21 reiterates this by saying,” Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” and 1 John 2:3: By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments.
The Ten Commandments are in Exodus 20:1-17 (click the link below it will take you to Bible Gateway to read this Scripture.) Take a minute, click, read, and come back, I’ll wait.
What else are we doing in our daily lives? Anything on this list ring a bell? And I mean Thou has done (you name the commandment). I have to be quite honest that when I have gone through seasons when I haven’t felt the presence or heard from God, I can for sure say I have been able to check of a few off the list I have not followed to the “T”, Like Jane Ann has gossiped at work, or Jane Ann has reacted poorly when she should have paused, and Jane Ann had not granted a friend forgiveness when God has granted it to her over and over and over again.
But the good news is we have such a loving God who wants to grant us forgiveness and grace. When we recognize that we haven’t been obeying God’s commands, we can come before Him and ask for His mercy and forgiveness.
1 John 1:9 Confirms this: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
We are human and we aren’t going to do anything perfectly like Jesus. However, I do have three steps we can take to help us along our journey to becoming more Christ-like, and help us stay close to Him. Because my friend, it’s not God who goes anywhere when we don’t hear him, it’s us!
We need to pray for God’s wisdom, strength, and discernment to obey so we can belong.
Pray to obey to belong.
When we mess up, and we will, we need to ask for God’s forgiveness and grace.
Ask to bask in His grace.
Stay in His word daily. God’s word is living truth we can rely and depend on everyday.
Read to heed His commands.
Join me this month for a series on hearing from God through prayer, His Word, and others.
What topics do you enjoy reading and gaining new insight? I’d love to know, leave a comment.