“But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.”-John 10:2-4
I was speaking with a young man the other day about a rough life circumstance. He was struggling; trying to understand where God was in the midst of his hardship. He couldn’t see God nor understand why God would allow him to go through the situation he was going through.
I sat and I listened to him speak. He was truly hurting and wondering where his Creator was. While listening, I was praying for wisdom and discernment for the words I would use to comfort and guide this young man.
When he was done speaking I sat, taking it all in, and shared what I heard: “The distance is not because of God, it’s because of you.”
So many times we find ourselves seeking God and wondering where He is. We pray to Him asking for relief or revelation, but the response is often void.
Perhaps it’s because of the way we seek Him out? We might be seeking for our own comfort and peace, but create distance because it isn’t about God revealing His truth to us.
God wants us to come to Him, although He is with us. God wants us to be dependent on His wisdom and His power. However, if we only come to Him in our times of need, we have created our own distance in understanding His work.
If we choose to ignore prayer, reading, meditating, and/or fasting to seek God on a regular basis to understand how to hear Him and respond to His words, then how can we expect to understand Him when we seek Him in our hardship?
Yes, God can speak clearly even if we don’t seek Him regularly, but the issue is distance. If we seek Him regularly, then we are closer to Him and His voice might not be as muffled. Yet, when we are not as close and expect to hear Him, He might be speaking, but He is far due to our inaction…NOT HIS!
As a follower of Jesus, we need to spend time with our Father and Creator. We need to strive to understand His voice and know Him when He is speaking. If we recognize Him as our shepherd, well, the sheep know their shepherd’s voice and will come when He calls (that sounds biblical). The sheep are around their shepherd enough to know His voice. Are you spending enough time around the shepherd?
We should also be aware of when we are growing distant. If we start to lose focus or lose connection, maybe we need to step back and reflect on priorities? Are you choosing a television show over prayer? Are you choosing a juicy new novel over the Bible? Do you spend more time worrying about what you’re going to eat as opposed to taking that time to fast? Do you long to be with a Church body or long to keep your body comfortable in bed? These are signs of distance. Not all are bad, but if they are our priority over the Divine, then we are creating distance.
Our struggles are real and we have a God that is really there with us as we go through them. He might be trying to answer our pleas, but we have created the distance that makes it hard for us to hear Him.
May we remember that God will never “leave nor forsake us”. May we remember that He has come to bring comfort. May we see that He is not distant and be aware of when we have created the distance.
God is good all the time and is speaking clear for all to hear (rhyme time), but we have to be aware of His voice.
QUESTION: Do you feel close enough to God to recognize when He is speaking?