Is There Bad Reception With God?

Have you ever felt that the environment you were in or the people you hung around could hinder your communication with God? I grew up in the “projects” and the “projects” are not comfortable places to live. It is commonplace for one to see spit in the elevator, or a box with a picture and candles of the young man who was shot the night before. One may even be greeted by the young lady who is strung out on crack because one young man decided that he will not live to make an honest living. Such an environment can depress you and even desensitize you as a person.

I remember telling my brother that I would do something to change our community. I said, “Maybe if we could have workshops on community development and pray our community could change.” Then my brother gave me the most surprising response ever. He told me “ forget it! It’s useless; God can’t hear your prayers in this place. It’s a swamp. Just as you can’t get reception in a swamp you can’t get reception here. He later added, “ Besides you can’t clean a swamp and even if you successfully do, you will mess up the Eco-system.” “You will be doing more harm than good.” “Where will all the “swamp animals” live?” He concluded with a passionate plea and said, “you go against prophecy if you do this.” “For Jesus said the poor will always be with you.” “If God puts a man in a certain mindset, and you try to open the mind of that man, you go against God.”

This was discouraging for me to hear from my younger brother and I showed empathy for what seemed be a hopeless situation but I sought the scriptures for advice and was comforted by this passage in Psalms 139:7-12

7. Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?

8. If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Hell, behold, You are there.

9. If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,

10. Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.

11. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”

12. Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.

In this Passage, David is writing about how God’s presence has been everywhere in his life and even in places we don’t expect. It is encouraging to me because it shows me that no matter how bad my environment is, that nothing can separate me from the love of God or my ability to communicate with him. It amazes me that Jesus grew up in Nazareth. A place that was so bad that when it was heard the Messiah was from Nazareth, Nathaniel asked “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” And Phillip replied “come and see.” Therefore the question lies before you. Can I get any reception to God in my environment? My challenge for you is to try and see.

Published by

Angelo DeGuerre

I am a Religion and theology major at Oakwood University and I love to do research, write poetry and journal on my spare time. It is my goal to bring a new understanding to Christianity and methods of ministry to strengthen the kingdom of God.

14 thoughts on “Is There Bad Reception With God?”

  1. I loved it ! It actually brought tears to my eyes. I see both points and I could see why anyone can believe in the swamp theory but thank God that He is love and love have no fear; that is why He purposely send His only begotten son for who so ever believe in Him will have everlasting life and life more abundantly.

  2. Amen. Your brother makes some statements that are important to recognize as truth.

    I do not agree that God can not hear your prayers from a swamp but I do agree that obviously God has allowed the poverty and the violence and much more to continue.

    Yet, just as you’ve said Angelo, there is nowhere that you can’t go that God does not hear you.

    Sometimes the poverty, the violence, and much more is part of God’s will; I repeat, PART of God’s will. I say part because I do not believe that his wrath is his COMPLETE will for mankind…In Romans it says that part of his wrath will be revealed in that he will give the stubborn and unrepentant people over to a debased mind and they will be given to all sorts of errors (I am paraphrasing here). However, it is still God’s desire that none should perish.

    Therefore, I do not think it is up to us to decide which communities/peoples/environments are completely a lost case and which ones are not. Rather, we should have a heart such as yours Angelo, not to change a community perse but to plant seeds and to pray and trust that the seeds will land on fertile ground (the fertile ground representing a receptive and thirsty individual for change, growth and most importantly God). Even if it is ONE individual, I strongly believe that reception is POSSIBLE! With man, it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Trust, believe, ask, and take action.

  3. I enjoyed this post. Thanks for setting straight the fact that no one and no place is hopeless. May God bless you in your ministry.

  4. Hey Angelo. I totally agree with you. Alot of people feel disconnected with God because of a certain situation, status, or environment. It is sad to hear people express that God will never be in a place that is not “worthy” of being in..it good that you found a scripture to encourage those people that God is always there and will never leave our sides..no matter what the circumstances are. So thank you for sharing that

  5. It is really encouraging to read the words in verse eight.I felt His presence just by reading this, and His presence is something that i have been desperate to feel for a very long time. i really needed to readd this and I am convinced that an angel from Heaven wrote this Using your Hand Angelo! THANK YOU!

  6. It was really encouraging to read the words in verse eight. Reading this blog/article made me feel His presence which is something that I was dying to feel. I truly believe that an angel from above wrote this using your hand Angel. Thank You!!!! I really really needed this!!!!

  7. This is deep. It made me think, a person could live any where and have bad reception with God. This is like a devotional thought, honestly it was great.

  8. This is just the kind of thing I needed to read. I’ve been encouraged that God hears me even when my surroundings are too loud for me to hear myself. I feel like my next year of college is going to be a success, especially since I’m going to center it all around Him. God hears and He has spoken.

  9. I understand your brother’s point and yes God does allow for certain situations to prevail. However, I don’t believe he allows those things to happen “just because”. Everything that exists is divinely orchestrated by God and He will use it to His glory. Sending someone along to a place spiritually and emotionally barren and using that individual to shine His light and glory in a seemngly dark place might just be God’s way of using that situation. so yea… im with you on that one. if I didn’t have any hope in our neighborhood I would have moved out a long time ago hahahaha

  10. I really really liked this post! Straight forward, to the point, and nice detailed illustrations, tied together with the bible. =]
    I agree that one can never be too far from God, in reference to their environment. That if you seek Him He will be there and the connection will be a good one as long as you cooperate with Him. Your brothers response was real and funny… and it reminded me how often I too begin to think negatively and place God in a box. Thanks for this! Seriously!

  11. Hey Angelo,

    Thanks for posting this…like your friends, I too see where your brother is coming from. After living in the ghetto and seeing that things are still the same…it can be disheartening and discouraging.
    However, I am a product of the “swamp”. I was insecure, looking for love in all the wrong places, broken, on drugs, and in a torrid relationship. I cried out to Jesus and he heard my cry. He strategically placed Christians in my path to love, care for and pray for me, in the “swamp”. The same way he is strategically placing you to do the same. The people who live in the swamp have gifts and talents that must be activated, but most importantly they must know about the love of Jesus, and that is through us, His children, His servants, His hands and feet. I went from the swamp to graduate college with a degree in Childhood Education. As Evianna said, “Trust, believe, ask, and take action”. God will do it…We must always keep hope. As I minister to you, I minister to myself…wonderful post! 🙂

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