When God speaks is anyone listening?
We remember 9/11 was the theme of the past week. Watching the replays of all the scenes connected with that tragic day led me to do some reflection of my own regarding the tragedy and what followed.
As I recall, the Sunday following 9/11 church attendance was up dramatically. But in a matter of two months it was back to pre-9/11 levels. When I first trusted Jesus to save me it was to get “fire” insurance. I came to the Lord out of fear of him, not love for him. As I continued my journey in the Christian faith, I moved from a relationship driven by fear to a relationship built on love and service. As I grew in my love relationship with Jesus, serving him became a joy, not just a duty.
Many of those who started going to church following 9/11 I believe did so out of fear. Once the threat subsided, the fear factor went away and they returned to their pre-9/11 lifestyle again.
Another thing that came to my mind was the common gathering of clergy from all faiths to pray for our country. It seems like following a tragedy nobody has a problem, including the ACLU, with people praying to their God in the public arena, in our schools, statehouses, and at sporting events.
God “allows” tragedies/calamities to come into our lives to show us our own inability to control our circumstances.
God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9). It is often through tragedy that God speaks to us teaching us we are not the masters of our fate.
If we refuse to repent and harden our hearts toward God when he tries to speak to us, the time will come when he will not listen when we do pray. In Jeremiah 11:14 it reads, “Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble.”
There comes a time when God will no longer answer the prayers of the wicked nor prayers on their behalf.
Example: Noah’s flood — How many people do you suppose started praying when it started raining. Noah had preached to them for 120 years but they didn’t listen. When it started raining it was too late to start praying.
What did America learn from 9/11? Since 9/11 we have had many big hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, droughts, fires, earthquakes, etc. and our economy is going south.
God is speaking to America, is anyone listening these days? Will America wait to pray till it is too late? Is it too late already? Wake up America.
May you have a good week unless you have other plans.
Maranatha. (Maranatha means, “Our Lord Cometh.”)
The Rev. Elton Yutzy is the associate pastor of the Maranatha Community Fellowship Church in Plain City. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.