Last week I called my grandmother to check up on her, but as many times as I called her I heard a service message say, “the number you have called is either switched off or out of coverage area”. If you have found yourself in a similar situation, you know how frustrating it can be especially when you have to deliver very crucial information to the other party. As I pondered over this situation, I began to wonder how this paralleled to the lives of Christians who have become either “switched off” or are “out of coverage area”.
Being switched off comes from deciding to tune out whatever God has to say to you concerning your life through His Word and through His prophets. In this state, you can still go to church and partake in all manner of religious activities, but doing these would be out of formality as opposed to a desire and excitement to do them. You would find yourself sitting in church but instead of listening to the Word, you would rather be criticizing the Pastor’s preaching, style of preaching, clothes, spouse, the church, the Christian faith, etc. Also, such a person might even read the Word of God but would still decide to follow His own way or do His own thing. Being switched off either comes from failing faith in what God’s Word says because of several challenges you have faced or could come through pride of thinking your way is better than God’s way. Either way, God’s Word no longer has a compelling effect on your life and you feel that you might as well not be a Christian. Yet, Jesus says “But anyone who hears my teachings and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash” [Matthew 7:26-27, NLT]. The only way to counteract this is to make yourself vulnerable to the Word again in order to build your faith and make God’s voice superior to your voice and your way.
On the other hand, the story of the prodigal Son truly depicts what is like to be out of coverage area of the love and the voice of God. It could be that you have let the cares of the world take pre-eminence in your life and they dictate how your life should go hence when God speaks, he can’t get through to you. It could be that you find yourself in the wrong company who are speaking into your life compared to Godly company. The most unfortunate thing about being out of coverage area is that you fall outside the boundaries of protection from God and from his voice guiding you and leading you. Outside this area, His Word cannot even get to you to be a “lamp unto my feet and lamp unto my path” [Psalm 115:105, NIVI]. Simply put, being out of coverage area is giving priority to other things aside your personal time with God. In such a state, you become too busy to go to church, to read your Bible, pray or to fellowship with other Christians. The effect is that with time, that signal of communication between you and God gets weak and eventually the signal gets lost such that “spiritual calls” cannot be made or received. But just as with a cell phone, once you move from that area where you have no or weak signal to a place with 4G signal, all calls and messages come through crystal clear. That is what happens when you “draw near to God and he will draw near to you” [James 4:7, NIV]. When you make God your priority, you seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness [Matthew 6:33] and you make spending quality time with him daily your priority, all lines of communication become open and clear.
It is foolishness to try and fight this God fight of faith by yourself or by your human strength, because it is “not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord of Hosts” [Zechariah 4:6]. God has to be at the center and forefront of every decision that we make and how we live our lives. Without him we are bound to fail so miserably and make a mess out of our lives. That is why it is a great danger if spiritually we are “switched off” or get “out of coverage area” because then the enemy who is prowling around like a roaring lion would target us as prey to devour us [1 Peter 5:8].
My prayer for you today is that you would be “strong in your faith” [1 Peter 5:9] then you will not become “switched off” or get “out of coverage area”.