Have you ever been discouraged by what seems to be the disappearance of God from your horizon, the inability to hear His voice? I believe one of the most wide-spread problems that young Christians face is that they seem to lose touch with the Lord. That intimate fellowship with Him fades away, and “I just cannot hear the voice of God for my life anymore.” As they move along the path of maturity, many young Christian men and women come into times when confusion creeps in, and it becomes really difficult to know what choice to make or who to listen to.

I would like to share with you a few thoughts that may help you with this problem. Remember when you first came to the Lord? When you made your confession and asked Jesus to forgive your sins and become the Lord of your life? Remember, for weeks or perhaps even months, you felt so exhilarated and blessed that it seemed your feet didn’t even reach to the floor! Well, you see, your salvation was really something neat. It was a combination of your DECISION and God’s REACTION. Paul said it very clearly in Ephesians 2: 8: “It is by GRACE you have been saved – through FAITH!” Your FAITH and God’s GRACE!

You took one step of FAITH by your simple confession, and God moved ALL THE WAY over to meet you in His GRACE! He didn’t wait  for you to become holy. He moved in close as you took your first child-like step – ALL THE WAY! And for days and weeks you knew the very Presence of God. . .within you!

Now, after these several months, or even years, you may see that much maturity has come into your life through prayer, praise, worship, reading the Bible, being filled with the Holy Spirit, in fellowship with other believers! But gradually you are becoming aware that you are not hearing God too clearly anymore. It seems that God is just LAYING BACK – not moving in your life at all!

Well, God is LAYING BACK! And just for the reason that you have begun to grow up – you have become more mature. Remember, when a child is still an infant, his parents must go “all the way” to meet his needs. They carry all the RESPONSIBILITY. They dare not “lay back”. But as the child grows older, they shift more and more responsibility onto him. Otherwise, when he or she is older and establishing other relationships – such as getting married – they will not know how to conduct themselves in these new relationships. And so it is with God. He gradually shifts more and more responsibility over to us. He withholds His GRACE, awaiting our walking towards Him in ever-increasing FAITH.

From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 9, March 1981.