I love visiting my parents. Whenever I am home there’s quite a bit to look forward to. Homemade Belizean food, the familiar smell of home, time with my family and the nightly debates about social, political or biblical topics. As a child I remember these debates happening at my grandparents home. My brothers and I would be upstairs listening to the adults go back and forth on their apologetics or point of view. My grandpa was the wiser of them all. Deuteronomy 11:18 states,
You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
That is exactly what my grandpa did. These debates were never out of anger, but more so, healthy “heated” discussion. Bottom line, each party knew when the conversation ended, they would all agree to disagree if there was some type of disagreement involved.
Today, my siblings and I carry on the same tradition whenever we visit our parents. My nieces and nephews are busy playing together while we battle out our opinions and apologetics. I recently visited my parents with my husband. This time it was my parents with Jarrod and I battling out what we believe. The topic of God’s nearness and sin separation came up. The question posed was, “can we get too far away from God for Him to reach us?” My dad’s response was simple, “no… God is omnipresent and omniscient. He has the ability to reach anyone. There’s no one He cannot reach. The issue isn’t God. The issue is man. We’ve made ourselves unreachable. We have Him on blocked.”
You probably don’t find his response profound, but I sure did. We have Him on blocked. For some, it’s you have Him on silent. If you’re like me you’ve probably had moments where it feels as if God’s pretty far away. You haven’t heard His voice and you feel far away from His embrace. I get that. I get that completely. You maybe feel as if God has you blocked or on silent. He’s not listening and He just won’t work on the miracle you’ve been praying and believing for! While the ways of God cannot be understood, the ways of man sure can. We are pretty predictable. Many a times, the reason why we are not hearing from God or receiving from God is not a matter of God neglecting us. It’s a matter of we rejecting and neglecting Him. We have Him blocked or on silent. He has not moved from where He’s been. Our hearts are simply closed to His voice and presence. Our hearts are hardened that we’ve become deaf to God’s voice.
If you’ve blocked someone on your phone you know that if that person is trying to reach you, they will not be able to get through. As much as they call (knock), they just won’t be able to get connected with you. That’s how many of us are with God. We have Him on blocked. He’s trying to reach us, He’s been knocking, but we are the one’s that are not responsive because we’ve removed access for Him to reach us. This isn’t the case all the time. I know some of you reading this might be thinking — there’s no way possible you can be more connected with God. You’ve been seeking and praying, but He just won’t answer your prayers or provide that miracle. To that I say, keep pressing in, don’t give up just yet. God’s timing and ways are not ours. He will come through. I believe that wholeheartedly.
I do however, want to address those who are believing for an answer and miracle and know their walk with Jesus just isn’t there. If you were honest with yourself, you’d say you have God on blocked or on silent. Here’s what that looks like. That’s neglect, excuse that we just don’t have enough time for Him and little to no interest in the things of God (church, worship in prayer and song). Negligence will hinder growth, reception and communication. God doesn’t neglect. While we like to believe that He does, He doesn’t. The very breath in your lungs is proof of that. If God doesn’t neglect us, why do we neglect Him? Hurt? Lack of miracle? Loss or pain? Understandable, but not justifiable. You might now say, “Vashti, how dare you say that. You don’t know what I’ve been though!” You’re right. I don’t. But I do know this, for as much as I’ve seen and walk through myself, the moments I was at my lowest low, God was there. The moments where I felt most neglected by God, it was actually negligence on my part, not making Jesus my priority. Refusing to have faith because things weren’t going my way.
Story time. In 2014 I was at a very low point in life. I wanted to give up. I was in great physical pain and no doctors had the answer. Between you and me, I got to the point where the thought of dying actually didn’t sound too bad. I was ready to leave the earth. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I felt God failed me. The physical pain didn’t help either. I was facing an all time low. I remember being cooped up in pain going to a new doctor each day for almost a month hoping someone would have the answer. No one did. Oh but God did. I remember being at my lowest, all alone right before my 3rd CAT-Scan crying out to God, “Where are you! Why have you left me all alone?” It wasn’t an audible voice. Rather an impression on my heart that said, “I’ve been here all along. I didn’t leave. You left me. You gave up on me.” I had God on blocked. I had Him muted. After all, I wasn’t getting my miracle. Why would I give time to someone who neglected me. Why would I trust God when I was in so much pain. If He was God then He would have given me my miracle of answers and healing, right?
During my time of trail and pain I didn’t give God the time of day. I wasn’t in His word. Neither was I praying or in worship. I had God on block. Why? I was bitter from not getting things my way. Isn’t it interesting how we want a miracle but in our pain we push God away rather than run to Him? He was there the entire time, but I failed to see what He was doing in the midst even in my neglect. He was providing for each doctor appointment. Each encounter I had with a specialist was a touch point for me to share my faith. I had family and friends surrounding me sharing their hope and assurance that God was in control. I was not alone. As much as I wanted to convince myself I was. I wasn’t neglected at all. God was there. He was always there, but I was too consumed by my ways that I failed to have faith.
If you are struggling to have faith that God is a good God I challenge you to read Hebrews 11. Here’s what faith is,
...Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. - Hebrews 11:1
Faith is not what fixes things. Faith however, removes the wall between you and God. It provides growth in God, reception to God’s word and a communication line to His voicd. Faith says, I know God is good and because of that, I believe His ways are better than mine.
So, how did my physical illness resolve? It took 6 months, one major surgery and three months bedridden, but I made it. Bills are paid, I was able to witness to many doctors and nurses, my family gained faith and I have a pretty nice scar on my back. Not one I look at in anger towards God, rather one I look at in thankfulness for answered prayers, life and God’s faithfulness. God’s ways are not ours. He works things out differently for everyone. We need to quit looking at others and how their miracle was fulfilled and ours weren’t. Remember, you don’t know the full story behind the process. The process is often times is filled with character building and many tears crying out to God. Seek God first and let Him take care of business. God is good and His goodness is very evident. I promise you don’t have to look too far for it. We live in a fallen world. Bad things will happen. But remember, God is there thorough it all. If you have God on blocked or silent, reset and get reconnected with Jesus. God isn’t neglecting you. He’s for you!
Do you have God on blocked? Do you have him on silent? If you do, what do you need to do to get right with Him? In what areas are you lacking faith?