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No Vacancy

Have you ever been frustrated with God or felt like He is distant? I have! In fact, I have felt like this a lot since the pandemic started! But have you ever actually pressed into WHY that is?

It’s been said that: “An unreflective man is a dangerous man…to himself and to those on his side” So, over the next couple of weeks I’d like to reflect on a couple of things that can lead to feeling frustrated or distant from God. The first thing is this:

We have no room for God in our lives.

I was reading in John this week where Jesus says, (speaking to a very religious crowd, I might add) “…some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message.” (John 8:37 NLT)

Jesus was speaking to frustrated, religious people who thought they knew God but were rejecting Jesus and his message. Why? Because their minds and hearts were full of other things: their agendas, their way of life, their politics and religion…fill in the blank.

I’d venture to guess that some of those people were educated, successful people…people with very full lives: content with their political and religious beliefs and life in general…people who might say “I’m comfortable with where I’m at regarding God”…a dismissive phrase that I recently heard when I tried to tell a neighbor about Jesus.

There were probably others in the crowd who were full of anger and frustration with their world’s circumstances (think Roman oppression!), political climate and the way it was affecting their lives (insert me here!) and just wanted Jesus to fix it already!  

Here’s my point: our lives…our hearts, are vessels to be filled…and we are ALL filling them with something. Jesus affirms this and reveals the problem with it as well: there was no room for him in their hearts.

They were so full of: their agendas, their political and religious affiliations, their way of life and in short…themselves that they couldn’t have relationship with Jesus…even though they could see him with their own eyes!

While I don’t believe that this virus is from God, I do believe that he is using it to wake us up! Of all the things this global pandemic has done to us, one of the most undeniable is that it has disrupted us. It has disrupted almost every aspect of daily life…and stripped away many of our comforters and routines. It has, in a sense, created a vacuum in our lives.

Have you noticed how people have filled the vacuum?

Many are learning new languages, finishing degrees, taking personal fitness challenges, starting, or finishing long overdue home projects or picking up new hobbies. Some are becoming obsessed with sharing their opinions and beliefs on who is responsible for this pandemic…pointing the finger at political parties and speculating about their motives.

I personally have spent far too much time looking at my facebook feed and news sources trying to make sense of the chaos and my free time has largely been spent on projects that keep my mind busy and ultimately distracted.

My goal isn’t to discuss these things, I simply want to make an observation that has shocked me: no matter how much time and space we are given…we will inevitably FILL it with something. And apart from intentionally making room for Jesus in our lives, the things we fill it with will eventually leave us feeling frustrated and distant from Him!

So, the question I want to ask is this: what are you filling your life with right now? And are those things drawing you closer to God?

For me, I have had to repent of 2 things:

  1. Trying to figure life out on my own.
  2. Embracing distractions…filling my life to the point that I don’t have time for Jesus or His word.

What about you? Where do you need to make room for Jesus?