“God, why aren’t you talking to me?!?” Those are the words I said as tears started to roll down my cheeks. Almost instantly I heard in my spirit “You aren’t talking to me”….
I had been awarded the new job! The job that was 7 minutes from my house, tops, with a red light. A job that ended the grueling 1.5 – 2 hour commute to work each way. I was busy learning the ins and outs of my new role which is high pressure and very demanding. I had no time for my mind to drift and reflect on my relationship with Jesus, or listen for his voice for that solid 9 hours. I was life coaching young women after work, preparing to lead a bible study, and witnessing to strangers about the hope we have in Jesus. Doing all the “right things” but not “The thing”.
I had not been writing… God will speak to me in the mornings and throughout the day with what I like to call “downloads”. All of a sudden, I was feeling empty and dry. I had not heard from God in a “download” in what seemed like forever. In a feeling of being lost and overwhelmed one morning I cried out with tears starting to roll down my cheeks, “God, why aren’t you talking to me?!?” and instantly in my spirit I heard “You aren’t talking to me.” Ouch. Yep. My commute was shorter, but so was my prayer life. I had a grand total of no less than 3, often 4 hours a day to talk to God while driving to and from work at my previous job. When you spend that much time with God, you get connected. He gives you ideas and vision and people sense the presence of the Holy Spirit when they are around you. Cut that time down to 14 minutes a day in the car, and you start starving your spiritual life. It’s a slow, subtle fade… but it eats away at your relationship like a cancer.
I explained it to the women at my bible study last week like this.. If you did the dishes, did the laundry and made dinner in an effort to show your husband you love him (works). And told everyone you met how great he was and how much you loved him (religion), yet didn’t talk to him – didn’t connect with him and tell him how much you love him, your marriage (relationship) would soon start to suffer. You can’t just talk about your husband, you have to talk TO him to sustain a healthy marriage.
It’s the same way with God. He longs to be in relationship with us. But we can get so busy and distracted doing all the right things like teaching Sunday School, volunteering at the Homeless Shelter, or hosting the teen class for an event. We can tell others of how great the love of God is, but not necessarily having felt it for ourselves in some time. In fact, we can be talking about Him constantly in social media posts, to strangers we meet on the street, to our friends at church. But unless we get to our quiet place, shut the door, pull out the Word and read… and pray… we will lose our relationship. It’s vital we protect that relationship we have with Jesus. We can’t just talk about Him – we must talk TO HIM.
How do I know? The bible is full, yes I mean FULL of verses that talk about prayer. One time I printed them out for my women’s bible study group and there were 3 pages, small font, line after line of bible verses talking about the importance of prayer.
I also know that Jesus would never ask us to do anything he wouldn’t do. And what did he do after he was baptized? He faced temptation. Temptation that he battled with scripture and with prayer. Jesus often went alone to pray. He set the example.
I felt lead to write this as awareness to those on this journey with me, because I believe one of Satan’s biggest tools to keep us from making a real impact in the kingdom, and jeopardizing our walk with the Lord, is distraction. We carry around a hand held computer 24/7. We talk about God, but we are not spending the time talking TO Him. We have more options than we ever had with sports, restaurants, events… and those all compete for, and often trump, time with God in prayer.
If you are feeling dry and overwhelmed, find your secret place. Shut the door, tune out all distractions, and spend time with the Lord. Sustaining that relationship is key to finishing this race.