I love my Fitbit. Every hour it vibrates to let me know that I need to get up and move. When I first got it a little over a year ago, I would actually get up and walk around until I got my 250 steps in for that hour. Over time though, I would ignore the vibration periodically.
I just checked the app to see when’s the last time I got all my hourly steps in during the day. Y’all, it was February of last year! What happened?
Well, at first, I was all excited about the new device that was going to help me be more active. I was sensitive to the alarm every time it would go off. But after ignoring it here and there, it got easier and easier to disregard. Eventually I barely noticed the buzzing at all.
Our spiritual lives can be like that. When we first start living for God, we want to do the right thing and we respond when we feel that prompting in our spirit. But sometimes we don’t want to pray, tell the truth, fast, or encourage someone like we are feeling led to do.
At first, we may feel restless and be uncomfortable in our disobedience. But eventually if we ignore the promptings of the Holy Ghost enough, we might become desensitized to them. We need to get back into the presence of God and become sensitive to the Spirit once again.
How do we do this? First of all, we need to lay aside distractions. What stops me from getting up when my FitBit nudges me to? I’m usually distracted by something that I deem more important at the moment. Whether it’s playing on my phone, washing dishes, or even writing on my blog- I am distracted and the moment passes without me giving it much more thought.
But if I got intentional about it and purposed in my heart that I was going to stop whatever I was doing and get my 250 steps in whenever I felt the vibration, it would eventually become a habit, and I would do it without giving it a second thought.
The second way to get back to a place where we can hear from God is to read the Word. I have seen a meme that said, “Don’t say God is silent when your bible is closed.” That is so true. God speaks through his word. His word is alive! I have read the bible through a number of times, and verses still jump out at me all the time. It never gets old, dull, or boring.
Prayer, Music, and Fasting
Prayer. What better way to hear from God than to talk to him in prayer? It’s like me complaining that my friend never talks to me anymore, but when is the last time I gave them a call? It’s a two-way street. We can’t expect God to talk to us if we never talk to him. Also, prayer is not just us talking. We should also listen with our hearts and listen for that still, small voice when He speaks. Sometimes God will speak loud and clear (not in an audible voice of course), but oftentimes we must be very quiet to hear Him.
In the bible, we learn that music was created by God to help us give praise and glory to him. That is why we have such an emotional response to music. If I am having a hard time feeling God, I will often get alone and listen to music. Praise and worship songs can be slow and soft or fast and loud- and anywhere in between. Some songs will make you feel thankful or joyous. Everything from the beat to the lyrics affects us in one way or another. Sometimes, songs will bring up emotions that we didn’t realize were there. Memories of hurt, pain, sadness, etc. If we cry out to God when these emotions come up, he will heal our hearts.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. -James 4:8
What if you are praying, reading the word, and listening to music but you still feel like God is a far off? Believe me, I’ve been there. For a very long time, I felt this way. It would leave me in despair! Even King David said in Psalm 13, “O LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way?” In these times I generally start fasting. Fasting is something that should be done regularly, not just as a last resort. But if we humble ourselves and pray, God will hear us and help us be reunited with him once more.
The Man of God
Through all this, please remember that your pastor is there for you to talk to. I was the worst about talking to my pastor. I would talk to every sister in the church and family member asking for help before I would talk to my pastor. Why? I just figured he was busy and had more important things to tend to than my spiritual affliction. But- can I tell you- that is his job! It’s like being sick and not going to your family doctor because you don’t want to be a bother. So you ask everyone you know and Dr. Google what you should do about your heart attack symptoms when what you really need is a professional! Don’t be afraid to talk to your pastor if you need help.
Last but not least, if God speaks to you or gives you a revelation for either you or a friend/family, write it down. I will sometimes hear something in a sermon or song and it’s like a light bulb went off in my spirit! But if I don’t write it down, I will soon forget. Keep a little notepad with you or use your phone to keep a record of these insights to refer to when doubts or worry creep in.
Let’s stay sensitive to the voice of God and the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Let’s not get so distracted or ignore what we are being called to do so much that we become desensitized. I leave you with this verse and pray you will be blessed:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. -Hebrews 12:1