Why can’t I hear God?
Voyage to the Moon.
According to Jules Verne’s grand-niece, Marguerite Allotte de la Fuye, Jules had always been fascinated with travelling. This fascination caused him to stow away on a ship headed for the West Indies. At the next port, however, his father was waiting for him, and his adventuresome exploits were cut short. Rumors have it that he promised to never travel again, and his only way to keep that promise was to travel in his imagination.
Jules often rented a boat with his brother, Paul, for one franc a day. Jules loved to see the outbound ships heading for mysterious destinations, and this sparked his imagination. His passion was to write, and at times that resulted in some nasty consequences. When he attended law school, thanks to his father’s promptings, his father discovered that instead of spending his time with this studies, Jules was spending most of his time writing. His father promptly withdrew all financial support.
Interestingly, had Jules Verne become a lawyer, no one would know him today. Even though He was from France, his books were quickly translated, and even now, 200 years later, they are well- known and well-read. Some of his best known titles are: â€œTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seaâ€, â€œAround the World in 80 Daysâ€ and â€œFrom the Earth to the Moonâ€.
Even though Jules was easily distracted from his studies, nothing kept him from focusing on his writing. Imagine how much more determined we would be if we were able to focus as Jules Verne did? And what if we were to put that kind of focus on the One who really matter: Jesus, the Christ
â€œAll I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.â€ (1Cor 7:35b, MSG)
â€œHow do you expect to get anywhere with God when you spend all your time jockeying for position with each other, ranking your rivals and ignoring God?â€ (John 5:44, MSG)
â€œKeep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions.â€ (Prov 4:25, MSG)
How easy it is for us to be distracted by secondary â€œsideshow distractions.â€ It happens all the time!
Think about when you first fell in love with the one you would eventually marry (For those of you who have yet to experience this kind of love, you can anticipate it!). Your thoughts were never distracted. All of them were geared towards your beloved, no matter what you are doing or experiencing.
At least this was the case for me.
Even though we face tribulations of all sorts, however, hard work, difficult exams, a demanding boss…, none of these things stole our focus from that beloved person. How often didn’t I wonder what my beloved was doing at a certain moment…And at all times, I couldn’t wait to see her again! I knew her deep thoughts and she knew mine.
Somehow that spark slowly disappears as we go through life. Stress, responsibilities and other numerous â€œsideshow distractionsâ€ rob us from the real thing.
Why do so many men end up at the pub when their loving wives are waiting for them at home? Why do so many women get so preoccupied looking for the latest fad and exploring numerous â€œsideshow distractionsâ€ when their husbands wait at home wondering where their wives have gone!
It doesn’t have to be this way. â€œSideshow distractionsâ€ keep us from experiencing the real thing. We’ve been robbed, and we don’t even realize it!
The same is true when we first encountered God in our lives. We were filled with fire to serve Him whole-heartedly, only to discover that as the years go by, â€œsideshow distractionsâ€ keep us from fully experiencing the Lover of our souls. Slowly we drifted apart, not even realizing it, and sooner or later we find ourselves completely estranged with the One who matters the most in our lives. Any wonder that in such cases we can’t hear Him?
The only way to avoid this is to shift our focus to what really matters. Is it truly worthwhile to spend all that time on â€œsideshow distractionsâ€? Will these be our comfort when our health starts to fail or adversity hits us straight on?
Spending time with the truly Beloved One will revive us from our stupor. Honestly, are we really happy the way we are continuously searching for sideshow happiness? Instead, why not go for a walk with our Heavenly Daddy? Why not share our day with Him and hunger for His presence? Why not keep feeding that romance? After all, He is the One who loves us way more than all of our friends and possessions together, the One who willingly died for us on a cross, so that we could experience real happiness. And He invites us to come to Him and experience Him fully.
Sooner or later we will realize that we have missed the boat, and hopefully it won’t be too late. Truthfully, our relationship with our Maker is way more exciting than all the pubs, shopping malls, books, music, sportsâ€¦combined. If our focus is not on relationship, we will become estranged, and hearing God’s voice will become harder and harder. We will eventually wonder: Do I truly know the One I call my Savior?â€
â€œKeep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headedâ€”that exhilarating finish in and with Godâ€”he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!â€ (Heb 12:2-3, MSG)
Where are your eyes focused on?
Next month we will explore other reasons why we may not hear God’s voice.