How Not to be Heard by God
Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for these people anymore. When they fast, I will pay no attention.” Jeremiah 14:11,12 NLT
The context of Jeremiah 14 is that the Jewish people were enduring a national drought and were experiencing the disastrous effects of the lack of rain for their crops and herds. In response, Jeremiah records that “the Lord replies: You have loved to wander far from me and have not tried to follow in my paths” (v10 TLB).
God’s response is to bring attention to the needed link between prayer, fasting, and obedience. The drought was not happening because of a prayer issue or a speaking/listening issue. It was a foot issue. One translation says, “They have not kept their feet in check” (NASB). The people of God were wandering far from God and not following in His paths.
What God does next is stunning. He forbids Jeremiah from interceding for the people! The Lord says, “Do not pray for these people anymore. When they fast, I will pay no attention. When they present their burnt offerings and grain offerings to me, I will not accept them” (v 11-12).
Have you ever been on your phone and hit a dead spot? You may be driving or walking and lose signal; or maybe there is a certain spot in your home that gets terrible reception. The problem isn’t a speaking/listening issue. It’s a foot issue—a location issue.
God was saying to His people, “Adding fasting and great sacrifice into the equation is not going to make a difference if your disobedience remains.”
Bottom line: no one wants to hear God say, “I’m not going to pay attention to you and I will not accept your worship or prayers.”
So take some time in this season of fasting and prayer and allow the Holy Spirit to investigate your heart and your feet!
Are you wandering far from God? Or are you pursuing Him with great passion and obedience? One of the antonyms of wander is to anchor. Anchor yourself close to God and do not move.
Take a look at the motion of your life as you journey on various paths throughout your day. Are you following on His path? Or are you setting your own pace and determining your own direction? Following designates a leader. Are you looking to God as your directional leader in life? How close behind Him are you following? How quickly do you respond to His tweaks and changes?
Are you following Him in your attitudes, words, actions, emotions, and thought life? Are you following Him in your finances, social media, entertainment, and screen time? Are there any addictive patterns or destructive habits that are leading you, instead of God? How are you keeping your feet in check?
And please don’t misunderstand this investigative exercise to mean that a perfect life gets you an audience with the Lord or that God will bend His ear to you based on your flawless life. God’s heart is saying to you: I want you close to Me. I love you too much. Don’t wander off. Please stay near on My path for your life. Let’s walk together. I’ll lead, you follow.
This was reproduced from Griffin, Chris. Fasting For Breakthrough: A 21-Day Biblical Roadmap for Fasting and Prayer (p. 90). BookBaby. Kindle Edition.