Why does God not answer when we call?


Isaiah 58:3-14
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. 4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD ? 6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-
when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.12Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. 13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you will find your joy in the LORD , and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

When we pray and seek the Lord do we wonder why He doesn’t respond to us and answer us in our prayers, fasting and seeking Him?  God really brings it home to Israel and to us as spiritual Israel why He may not be answering us.  It is easy for all of us to want to deal with life and religion on a surface level, but God is always dealing with the issues of the heart.   For us to understand how God sees us and responds to us we must be able to honestly evaluate our own hearts.  We think it is our words, or even our actions that God responds too.  The real issue and what every motive, desire and deed stems from are the condition of our heart.  If our hearts aren’t right before the Lord then nothing else in our life will be either.  It doesn’t matter how much we go to church, sing and talk about God if our heart isn’t right before Him.
This passage brings out a number of issues where our hearts need to be in alignment with God’s heart if we are to see Him respond to us and hear our cry?  Are there any areas of unfogiveness, injustice or oppression in our hearts and relationships with others?  Are their areas where we are controlling, overbearing, manipulating?  Are there areas where we lack integrity, honesty and putting our own good before another’s, if so, we need to deal with it?
Where is our heart concerning the homeless, the hungry, the lonely, the imprisoned or the naked?  Do they have any type of priority in our lives?  Are we personally involved in their lives?
What about our own family, do we neglect them, ignore them, turn them away, continually strive with them and fail to meet even their needs?
Do we talk maliciously about others?  Are we critical, backbiting, gossips, or storytellers?  Do our tongues bring life or death in what we speak?
Do we truly fear and reverence Lord and His day?  Do we treat the Holy Day of the Lord as common?  We go to church, if we go to church, pay our respects and our dues and then we are off to do our own pleasures and delights.
Perhaps these are very good reasons that God has given us why we don’t hear from Him and why He doesn’t respond to our prayers and seeking Him.  It starts with the condition of our hearts.
A righteous heart that fears the Lord and honors Him in all its ways will gain the respect of God.   We have to truly be willing to examine our heart in the light of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word if we want true relationship with Him.  Our faithfulness and heartfelt obedience must be the order of each day.  Today is perhaps the day we need to take a true inventory of our hearts.

Blessings,
kent

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