How often have we talked to God, and felt the intimacy of His presence, and then other times our prayers seemed to stop just short of the ceiling? Even though we may be a child of the Most High God, we are still hampered by the frailties of our human tabernacle while upon this earth. When communing with the Heavenly Father, I try to divorce fact from fiction. God’s dependability (fact) does not depend on my feelings (fiction).
Feelings are fine, but they should never be used as an iron-clad barometer in our relationship with God. God’s Word should always trump our opinion based on our feelings.
So, when it seems my prayers can’t get past the ceiling, is it true? Am I being heard by Him? What’s going on?
David said, “I love the LORD, because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.” (Psalms 116:1-2 NASB)
Solomon said, “The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.” (Proverbs 15:29 NASB)
John said, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” (1 John 5:15 NASB)
Jesus said, “I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” (John 11:42 NASB)
So obviously, when it feels like I’m “not getting through”, He is listening. The problem is on my end, and that is exactly how Satan wants me to feel. So what am I going to believe … my feelings or God’s Word? And this is where I separate “fact” from “fiction”. Regardless of how I feel, I must keep in mind that He is always listening. Consider this event from the Gospel of Mark (beginning at 10:46):
Jesus was at a city called Jericho with His disciples, and a very large crowd was following them. As He was leaving Jericho, a man by the name of Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside. Being blind, he had to beg for his sustenance. As the crowd passed by him, he realized that Jesus was among them. Apparently, he had heard much about Jesus, even that He could heal the blind. This was his chance. So he yelled out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Since many from the crowd were telling him to be quiet, I’m thinking Jesus must have been talking to the crowd as they walked, and in order to hear him, the crowd wanted Bartimaeus to shut up, but he kept yelling, not just once, but continuously. Then it says in Mark 10:49 (NASB), “And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.” I want to place the emphasis on, “And Jesus stopped”.
This old blind beggar, who probably wasn’t too important to anyone in the crowd, caused the Son of God to stop in His tracks. Jesus heard someone call His name. Jesus immediately ceased His conversation with the crowd, and probably even turned in the direction of the one calling for Him. This scene in my mind of Jesus walking along, and then suddenly coming to a dead stop because He heard someone call out for Him, has got to be one of the greatest assurances that God hears, not just the crowd, but the individual who calls out for Him. He cares for you and me as an individual person. He knows us by name. He knows all about us.
Are you on the side of the road of life? There are a thousand reasons you could be sitting on the side of the road, helpless, and no where to turn. Since you happen to be reading this, God has evidently guided you here for a reason. He wants you to know that you do have somewhere to turn. Jesus is walking down the street of your life. He knows you’re sitting on the side of the road, and He knows your need. He is waiting for you to call out for Him, as did blind Bartimaeus many years ago.
Isn’t it amazing that even among the crowds, Jesus makes it personal. He heard the lone voice of Bartimaeus call His name, and stopped what He was doing, and listened to what he had to say.
You may think you’re not important, and to a snobby society, you may not be. But to God, you are important, important enough to listen every time you call His name.
Some may say, “I’ve called out to Him, and nothing has changed.” Maybe now, you just need to listen. Is He going to produce in our lives everything we ask for? No, no more so than good parents are going to fulfill every wish of their children. I will say this. He will do what is best for His glory and for your benefit. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
I realize that this article is wide open for me to stray in many directions, but I want to stay with this one thought, i.e.; the important point is to be aware that Jesus will always give you His undivided attention. I could pummel you with verses to prove the point, but all you need do is read for yourself. There are multitudes of verses in the Bible that show that He is always ready to listen. Jesus stopped dead in His tracks, over the confusion of the crowd around Him, to listen to a blind beggar who called out to Him. He will stop and listen to you also.
We live in a day that people are becoming more and more self-centered. We don’t have time to listen to others. We are soothed only by the lull of our own voice. We are too busy pleasing ourselves with our own interests. We are too enraptured with ourselves. Partly because of this, many others live lonely lives even while the crowd mingles around them. Many of you know exactly what I am saying.
There is One though, who would delight in quiet conversation just between the two of you. His name is Jesus. He stopped and listened to Bartimaeus. He will stop and listen to you too.