He asked the Lord what he should do, but the Lord refused to answer him, by dreams, sacred lots, or prophets.
1 Samuel 28:6 NLT
Until you do the work of confession, I refuse to do the work of listening. When you are like Saul—egocentric, jealous, mean, rebellious—do not expect Me to march double-time to your desperate battleground. Rebellion ruins our relationship. Ignoring My instructions blocks communication. If you cozy up to sin, I will not pay attention to your pleas.
You will not get what you want until I get what I want—repentance! On guard! Run the other way from evil! Otherwise I will not come to your rescue when you cry out to Me. Piously folding your hands in prayer may impress people, but you will not have My ear and blessing until you abandon evil.
You should confess sin every day because you sin every day. Remember real confession involves listening to My directions for living and quitting wrong actions. Every sin you hesitate to give up becomes a brick in the wall between us. Here is an unwavering principle—iniquity in your behavior and intimacy with Me are incompatible. Leave prayer out of your schedule, and you will live without vitality. Attempt to operate independently of Me, and you will have nothing to show for it.
The opposite is wonderfully true. Nestle near My heart, and you will enjoy the sweetness of answered prayer. Pay attention to how I ask you to live, and I will pay attention to your petitions. Conscientiously focus on obeying Me, and I will concentrate on caring for your daily needs.
I am ready to answer your prayers when you are ready to get in tune with My will. Spectacular dreams, sacred dice, and ecstatic prophets are no substitute for heartfelt prayer. I lead you by My Word, Son, and Holy Spirit. Your fondest dreams cannot envision what I can do. I do not roll dice with your future—I orchestrate it.
Depend on My Spirit, not daydreams, to find inspiration. Rely on My Providence, not coincidence, to draw the blueprint for your life. Search My timeless wisdom, not modern-day philosophy, to find insight. Habitually relate all dimensions of your life to Me, maintaining an attitude of humble dependency—then I will tell you what you should do.
Johnny R. Almond
Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity