Is Sin Drowning Out the Voice of God in Your Life?

by | Jun 8, 2015 | Instructing, Winning | 23 comments

“In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” –Ephesians 1:7

Have you ever felt that God does not hear your cries for help?

Have you ever asked, “Why has God abandoned me in my hour of emptiness and loneliness?”

This dilemma describes a reader who left a recent comment on my Dec. 15, 2014 blog, “Why Would God Ever Want to Love a Sinner Like Me?”

This is a shortened and edited version of the reader’s note:

I can’t even feel guilty anymore for my sins … it’s starting to scare me because before I would cry and fear, now I don’t even feel the Spirit agonizing. I feel like I have laughed at God with my sorrys and sins every 5 minutes that He knows I’m not for real, I’m not loyal.

I feel like I’m not loved by anyone, everyone judges me … I feel so much pain and sorry for myself. I feel like I sin (especially in pornography) because it’s the only thing I have left that will make me feel good, even though it doesn’t fulfill me. Since I can’t feel God, I think “I might as well.”

I feel so lonely … I have prayed to the depths of my core and I never see change. I’m probably a burden to God … I truly believe I’m going to hell. If God knows this, why do I ask for help and end up sinning because I don’t have patience? Why can’t I feel His hand in my situation?

My heart goes out to this brother, and I doubt he is alone in his circumstances.

But the signs of why the Holy Spirit is not guiding his life are fairly obvious.

Christians have a choice: be free in Jesus or remain in bondage to the enemy.

Are You an Unhappy Christian?

I recall Calvary Chapel South Bay’s late Senior Pastor Steve Mays saying, “The unhappiest Christians are those with one foot in the world and the other in Jesus.”

Sometimes, as chronic sinners saved by grace, we consciously choose not to follow the Spirit’s will for our lives.

We are creatures of free will. God made us that way.

You can follow Jesus, who made you alive after you were dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). Or you can follow your own desires.

God’s Word addresses this dilemma in James 1:13-15:

“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”

There are times when believing in Jesus and calling Him Lord is nothing more than a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.

We sin, we beg for forgiveness, we sin again, implore the Lord to forgive us once more, go on to another sin, fall on our knees and pray “Give me just one more chance,” and on it goes.

But there comes a time, as this reader laments, when God’s presence is no longer felt.

The noise of your own sin drowns out the whisper of Holy Spirit in your life

When you’re hungry for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, it’s not like calling up Domino’s to order a pizza to be delivered.

Boom! Thirty minutes later the Holy Spirit is at your door. Not likely.

If the desire to sin in your life is stronger than your walk with Jesus, how can you expect the Holy Spirit to guide your life?

God will not impose His will on you.

If you do not feel God’s presence in your life, it’s because YOU are shutting Him out by insulating yourself in sin.

The only voice you hear is that of your own desires.

Habitual sinning is like a roaring freight train that builds up speed.

The faster it goes the louder it gets.

It gets so loud that you can’t hear God speaking to you anymore, short of a catastrophe in your life to get your attention.

(For more on this related topic, see fellow scribe Peter Guirguis’ blog “3 Reasons Why a Good God Allows Bad Things to Happen in Your Life.”

Psalms 46:10 reminds us to, “Be still and know that I am God.”

How will you know God if you are moving around in sin? How can you hear Him if your sin is like a roaring freight train?

I believe God the Father doesn’t abandon His children, but He often turns a deaf ear to those wallowing in sin.

For example, we read over and over in the Old Testament how the Hebrew people, witnesses to the startling and magnificent power of God in their lives, would eventually return to their sinful ways of worshiping other gods.

They would ignore the rules for their peace and prosperity that God placed before them through Moses and other prophets.

God’s response in some of these situations was to ignore their pleas for divine intervention.

He would give them over to invading enemies, allowing them to once again be scattered and become subservient to other nations.

For those readers facing a similar dilemma as our friend, it is worthwhile to note that God hates sin and can’t be in the presence of sin.

Not even for His Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross taking humanity’s sins upon Himself. God had to turn away, causing Jesus to cry out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46)

Wouldn’t you rather be like David, and have the ear of God?

He says in Psalms 120:1, “In my distress I cried out to the Lord and He answered me.”

God looks at the heart of man (1 Samuel 16:7).

Are you sincere in wanting Jesus to be the Lord of your life always, or only when it suits you?

Jeremiah 17:10 says, “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

When God searches your heart and your mind, what will He find?

Are You Putting God First or Your Desires?

It is human nature to want to sin, but then can you truly say you fear God?

Proverbs 16:6 says, “By the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.”

Are you one of those people who can resist anything but temptation?

God’s Word deals with that as well:

1 Corinthians 10:13 notes:

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

If you remain in sin it is because that is the path you choose.

If you cannot hear or feel the presence of God, inventory your life.

Are you out of the Word? Do you acknowledge your Creator daily? Are you walking in sin? Do you pray to Him daily? Do you thank Him for all He has done in your life?

Stop sinning. Seek repentance with a sincere heart.

Put God first so that you are not “tempted, lured, and enticed by your own desires.”

1 John 1:9 says:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Make Jesus the Lord of your life, not sin.

Only then will you be able to hear His still and quiet voice.

Only then will you feel safe, surrounded by God’s love.

And only then will you feel His hand holding yours as you walk through this life.

23 Comments

  1. Peter Guirguis

    “If you do not feel God’s presence in your life, it’s because YOU are shutting Him out by insulating yourself in sin.” That is one of my favorite phrases from your blog post, Ani. Today’s post is filled with many powerful truths and golden nuggets.

    I feel like your blog post and the timing is led by the Holy Spirit. I have a sister in Christ who reached out to me recently and told me that she feels like she is far away from God. As I asked her a few questions, I found out that she is in a relationship in which she is unequally yoked with an unbeliever.

    God has been speaking to her and telling her that she needs to break up with her boyfriend but is having trouble doing it. As a result, she feels like there is a barrier between her and God. She says her relationship with God has been going down the drain.

    I’m planning on sending her your article. I pray that God would use it to help her to do a U-turn for Christ. Please keep this sister in your prayers so she would do the right thing.

    Thanks Ani!

  2. ani maamin (@animaamin1)

    Of course I will keep her up in prayer, Peter. James 4:8 tells us “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” It takes a step of faith … in the right direction.

  3. Luis

    Hi brother, its me again 🙂 thanks so much for letting me know about your new blog, i can only say wow!…. brother, this pretty much sums my life up, except the odd bit here and there; I have been growing closer to God since my first response to “Why Would God Ever Want to Love a Sinner Like Me?” specially these last few days, im realizing the true reasons as to why i do things, and im discovering it is completely for my pleasure, not for Gods, even willing to watch TV rather than read the Bible seemed insignificant to me until now, i thought “as long as i read God is happy, before or after i do what i fancy doing”, but through prayer God brought me to realize, “if I’m first in your life, why do you choose to watch TV before reading my word, or before praying, or merely talking to me?” (as i chat with God sometimes not in prayer style); most times i would sit there waiting for God to make me want to read His word, or to make me want to do his will, but hes also brought me to realize, (as you very well state), that its my choice and my will to do so! how pathetic of me to even consider that on top of Him bothering to bring me to his knowledge, sin all i have sinned and have been forgiven, that i can wait for Him to make me want to as well…. not ask Him to make me will, but wait, as if it was His duty…. how lazy of me….but with some faults still and ups and downs i can say im gladly making progress, slowly, but i am; i still struggle with temptation and lust, and judgement, but God is helping me.

    By the way brother Peter Guirguis, i relate to your sisters story; i felt pressured into by another Christian to get married to someone who was divorced and and was a witch, she said she believed at the time but she went back to not believing, (though she gave up witchcraft); i now live in a marriage with a wife who does not believe, who does not desire me and certainly shows no attractiveness towards me, thats my biggest struggle with pornography, no relations for months. disagreeing with everything, some times it seems the more i try and give, the less she does! tell your sister to get out of there Brother Peter Guirguis, because this relationship has destroyed my Christianity more that it has built it, the antagonism is extraordinary and even more when you see truth and they dont, they dont care that they cause damage, just like the world, and its so painful!

    i really have to thank you brother Ani, i really feel like God put us in each others paths. i really i appreciate your time for me. May God bless you and your work in Him! i hope you dont stop writing because im sure you’re inspiring and helping many lives.

    i will keep track of your blogs and read your other ones, im sure they will be helpful; please send me a link again when you do new blogs.

    by the way, i was wondering where you’re from, if you dont mind me asking

    God bless

  4. ani maamin (@animaamin1)

    Hi Luis, it is wonderful to hear from you again, and to hear you are back on the path to God’s heart. Stay strong in the Lord and nobody but nobody will be able to destroy your Christian faith and your relationship with Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit. I believe you are at that point in life where you know the path to righteousness and the path to sin. I will keep praying for you, that God helps you through your struggles. Here is one of my favorite verses to bless you with:

    “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) …

    Interesting enough, this blog led to a related blog that will run in early July about “the kings” in our life that we place above God. As for where I am from, I was born in Los Angeles and live in the South Bay. BTW, Luis, when you are struggling with a particular issue and need prayer, bring it to the CCSB on Facebook so the body can pray for you and with you.

    Remember, too, the flesh is always at war with the Spirit, and that’s when you need to take refuge in our Almighty God. He is your Abba Father. Run to Him.

  5. ani maamin (@animaamin1)

    Also, Luis, there is a specific Facebook page created for prayer. It is called Calvary Chapel Prayer Group. These wonderful people will lift you up in prayer.

  6. Luis

    thanks so much brother, i will be checking these sites out, thanks so much for the scripture also, it was strengthening!

    you are also right about where i am in life, but you know, the funny thing about all this is that i have been asking God the past few weeks for someone who would guide me in his truth and his love, i know its you brother, your name, your gentleness, your boldness, your wisdom, its as if i spoke with Jesus, the way you mentioned the church was awesome to say the least, “the body” and how right! you know, i would only expect Jesus to call the church that in a conversation, you seem full of love and truth brother, and its so good to see; churches need more people like you!

    i also have to say, your prayers for me are being answered, and though i hate to ask for things, i will ask that you please keep praying for me, because its helping, and its awesome!

    here is some scripture for your reassurance:

    Romans 12;15- Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep…

    Hebrews 3:13- Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.

    Hebrews 10:34- You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. (that great possession is the JOY that you have helped me!)

    Matthew 25:36 – I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me

    and many others!

    let me tell you something i have always known but God just put it in words for me:

    -nakedness is not only being unclothed, but knowing no love.
    -being hungry is not only having nothing to eat, but not knowing your purpose, not having direction, being lost.
    -being thirsty is not only having no water, but not having a single word of guidance or knowledge, nothing to look in to or up to.
    -sickness, is not only health issues, but addiction, anger, hatred.
    -prison is not only bars and handcuffs, but its depression, loneliness, emptiness.

    thats why Jesus said- Matthew 25:37-39- “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
    see the righteous though he was only talking about real nakedness and hunger and prison, and he was, but i believe he mainly meant as i described above.

    you have done this with me brother!

    God bless you brother. big hug 🙂

  7. ani maamin (@animaamin1)

    I see the joy of the Lord in you Luis. And I will keep praying to God that His joy never leave you.

  8. peterguirguis

    Wow, this is awsome guys, praise Jesus for both you Ani, and Luis 🙂

  9. GR

    his article was painful to read…but it was exactly what I needed to hear. It made me realize that although I am a believer, I have not allowed Jesus to be Lord and center in all areas of my life. I am that Christian who “has one foot in the world and then other in Jesus”. That is why I an facing a difficulty right now and why God seems silent in regards to it. The Spirit led me to this article, because I found it by accident and I needed to hear. I will be meditating on this tonight and tomorrow morning. Thank you

  10. AniMaamin

    GR, it was not until I opened my heart to God and reached up to Him that He pulled me out of the gutter. He knows the hearts of his people and loves us all. May God bless you richly and may you always find peace in Him and through Him.

  11. Benni

    I know the key to win over sin is spending more time in Gods words and prayer. PERIOD

    BUT still there are some of us who at a younge age our parents never showed us the way by spending time in Prayer and reading, so we still struggle to fight sin(evil) because the flesh is so weak and desires natural desire on unnatural places.

    So many times have I tried reading but lasts may be a week but once you are out in the world, start reacting with people it’s a completely different universe meaning what you see and expected to participate in is just not Godly as simple as gossiping/tv reality shows/greediness ….. it goes on and on

    To make my story short I just pray to God to take my freewheel away from me! And see me through the death of Jesus Christ for my everyday sin!

  12. Benni

    One more thing is the church followship

    In simple terms I feel the church is always on the run on what is THE NEXT BIG THING …. the coming concert/ the coming event/ the best song …. ohh people are struggling in sin .. you chose to lead us not to be TV/radio stars

    Feels like they are running a business

  13. Therese

    Would this include emotional attachment to a married man? I’m a young widow with no family and no children and also have an anxiety disorder. I’m very emotionally attached to a married man but bad things have been happening in my life and I think it’s because of this relationship.

  14. Amanda Estrada

    Hi Therese, I am so sorrow for your loss. =[ We have a seasoned women’s leadership team here at CCSB if you ever need prayer or someone to talk to.

    Also, my advice is to end this friendship immediately and let this man go. It’s not fare to you or to his wife. The Bible makes it clear that it’s never a good idea to get too attached to the opposite sex unless it’s your spouse. It will most definitely cause problems with their marriage and could eventually lead to adultery and divorce. And, maybe God has another man in store for you to settle down with and marry one day. But by having this friend you’re emotionally attached with…it’s only hindering and delaying the plans God has in store for you….do you know what I mean?

    Sometimes the hardest choices we have to make are truly the best ones!!! Because this close relationship with the opposite sex is opening up that door to sin….you need to rely upon God’s strength and close it completely. That goes with anything the Bible says is against God’s Word. He will bless you I promise you out of your obedience!!! Remember though, you cannot resist temptations to sin on your own. So please, make sure you pray for God to exchange your weakness for His strength. What’s impossible for us, is possible with God. =] If I were you, I would tell this man you can no longer be friends, delete his phone number, and ignore any attempts he makes to contact you. Trust me, it’s not easy…I have been there myself! But you have to do it, Therese!

    Sin is no joke to God! The Bible also says you will reap what you sow. So if you are sowing seeds of sin with this relationship, then you will inevitably reap the negative consequences it brings. =/ That’s why it’s so important to have God as your “husband” right now. I believe the emotional attachment you have towards this married man…is meant to all go directly to Jesus. My friend was in a situation where she was actually dating a married man. And, she said she was a Christian. I remember there was so many bad things happening in her life and I was thinking…wow…maybe God is trying to show her that this is not His will at all in a very powerful way! And maybe it’s the same for you. Maybe God is allowing these “bad things” so to speak to happen because He’s trying to get your attention to end it.

    I was a single mom for a long time and for most of those years…it was very hard! Many times I would cry myself to sleep wanting a husband and male attention so badly. But the moment I chose to guard my heart, stop trying to find love in a man, and truly surrendered my life to Jesus everything changed. God did such a deep work in my heart and truly replaced my loneliness with fulfillment in Him. I felt emotionally secure and had the best friend ever! I was even able to stay pure until I finally did meet my husband!

    So again, please take heed with this married man and even though it will be extremely hard for you, let him go. Start getting plugged into your local bible teaching church by serving, and fellowship with other believers. Please know I’m praying for you!

    Psalm 37:4 for you Therese!

    Take care okay,

    <3 Amanda

  15. Therese

    Dear Amanda,

    Wow! Thank you with all my heart for everything you said to me and for taking the time to help me. I had been praying that God would seek out a believer and someone I didn’t personally know, to speak a word to me. Everything you said to me is very similar to what two priests and a girlfriend have said to me, so it has to be coming from God! You said everything so perfectly for me. And for some reason it seems more significant and believable coming from someone who doesn’t personally know me. I better start listening because I’ve also been told time is short and I’ve also heard, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart.” Thank you for everything you said about guarding my heart and giving all my love to Jesus. Lately, I have found comfort reading the Bible passages that show God’s tender love for widows. Thank you for telling me about the CCSB leadership team. Thank you for your prayers! Truly, thank you for every precious word and thought that you shared with me. Even the Bible verse you chose is similar to what I actually happened upon last week on twitter:
    “Godly Quotes For Me‏ Apr 19 If you’ll be patient and wait for God’s timing, He will give you the desires of your heart.”

    Amanda, I’m going to do it! I need to stop being afraid. Every time something happens with the house or my car or problems with my neighbors, I go running to the married man when I should be running to the One who enfolds and holds all things and can protect me so much better.

    Thank you so much Amanda! 🙂

    Therese

  16. Virginia Mwende

    “If you do not feel Gods presence in your life,i’ts because you are shutting Him out by insulting yourself in sin”… I love this phrase…I’m so thankful for this article..I’m young just 19…an age which is very difficult to follow Christ but I’m glad He did save me…though have been feeling so distant from Him…your article has helped a lot…I’d request you keep me in prayers coz the journey isn’t so easy…Remermber ,those who remain faithful till the end will enter the kingdom…God bless you.

  17. Marsha

    I had consecrated and done full surrender prayer and had baptism of holy spirit where God tells you who husband is supposed to be and out of pride in rejected it God tried to restore Memail and everything back to me but I told him I did not need him or holy spirit anymore and wanted to return to him he gave me a, chance to repent bUT something was blocking my heart I was lonely and now feel lost him and want him back and don’t want people cuzco in end I will die and go to he’ll not realizing you could have him and still have conversation with others. I did this all wrong and now lost person again

  18. Lori

    Wow. I was searching on the web tonight for something to get me back on the path with my Lord. Stuck in sin and angry at God for not “delivering” me after decades of struggle with alcohol and sexual sins…just this morning I was praying/blaming God for not my not repenting, for choosing sin instead of him and realizing how ridiculous it was but the anger is with myself and I feel further and further from him these days…as his voice and presence grows fainter. Its like you said, Ani…sin is like this insulation we wrap around ourselves…it deafens us, it restricts us, it blinds us, binds us, muffles our voice and thoughts. Its a vial of poison we choose to drink over our Lords living water. This human/christian condition is one long battle even though Christ won the war. We are still in a fight to be useful for His kingdom and that’s what I was fighting with him about. Why not deliver us so we can be his warriors on earth? But deliverance is not promised, only salvation. I think the brother/sisters are right. We need to fight our sin with the sword of the spirit…the word of our Lord…and prayer. Even when it’s the last thing we want to do because it always is for me. I will say it helps to know we are all of us struggling against these things and that his grace is sufficient for all. Thank you for these inspired words. God bless all of you with hope and endurance to fight the good fight.

  19. Rebecca

    Hi, I’m 14 and I’m facing the same struggle.
    But I have a question. Can I still rebuild my relationship with God even though I knew I was living a sinful lifestyle at the time?
    Please keep me in your prayers.

  20. Amanda Estrada

    Hi Rebecca, I struggled with this same question when I was your age. The answer is yes! You can ALWAYS come back to the Lord no matter what you’ve done. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that ALL sin and fall short of the glory of God. So if everyone falls short then everyone needs the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God. The good thing is that right now you’re acknowledging you’re a sinner…just like all of us are!! That’s a good place to be, believe it or not. It’s the people who think they’re doing nothing wrong that do not have that attitude of repentance or surrender. A story that comes to mind in the Bible is the tax collecter vs. the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14,

    “Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

    “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

    So, Rebecca, it’s the people who 1. admit they are a sinner 2. Ask for God’s forgiveness and 3. Turn from their sin and repent (don’t keep doing it)…who are made right before God.

    For example, I used to be a heavy drinker. I prayed for God to help me stop and said I was sorry and wanted to never do it again…but I still had the choice to either drink or not. I chose not to go out with my friends to the bar or club, I didn’t shop at the liquor store, I actually made new friends, and surrounded myself with believers at church. God promises to give you the strength to resist any temptation but you also need to take steps to avoid the temptations as well if you can. =] If there’s a bf who keeps pressuring you to have sex before you’re married then break up with him. If your friends are pressuring you to smoke weed or cigarettes or drink, then stop hanging out with them. Do you know what I mean? It’s SO hard sometimes but these choices are vital to your relationship with God.

    Here are a couple other great articles on this subject. Be encouraged though okay!!! Jesus loves you just the way you are. He will restore you and do a work deep within your heart if you simply ask Him too. =]

    Praying for you!!!

    <3 Amanda

    https://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/hope-for-the-messed-up-life/

    https://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/becoming-a-christian/how-can-i-be-saved/restoring-our-relationship-with-god

  21. Belinda

    I stumbled upon this blog post today while studying God’s word after reading my daily devotion. Isn’t it encouraging to know that something God inspired you to write so long ago is still alive? Never before have I known the full extent of the phrase I hear my Pastor say often that the Bible is Gods word for us and is a living, breathing word that can come at us from any direction because it is connecting to us from His spirit that lives in us. Which is the Holy Spirit. I just wanted to say thank you for letting God use you with this list so long ago. I’ve written down many of your phrases (and printed out the blog) for future contemplation. I promise to give you full credit if I ever mention what you’ve said here to others as I know it will be a help to them as well. Blessings in the matchless name of Jesus!

  22. Detta

    Hey Benny I must say, reading your response the Lord must be convicting me.
    I mean no offense, it is actually for myself because I could hear myself speaking/whining through your words.
    I can see I’ve been blaming the Lord and blaming others for not helping enough; and I’ve been excusing myself for choosing sin over the Lord
    and blamed my flesh for my lack of faith, rather than take responsibility for my laziness to seek the Lord.
    Although I must agree with you on the church being in the run. Always after the next big project but always neglecting to stop to listen the sheeps’ needs. I’ve been attending a big church for 5 years, and I find more blessing in articles like this one and chatting online; but recently the Lord led me to meet a very small church where the people try to listen to each other needs and try to encourage one another.
    We have to seek the Lord where He may be found

  23. Chris Oldford

    This is a wonderful insight to the powerful message of God and his love for all humanity! I have been struggling, being away from God for a number of years.

    I have recommitted my life to Christ , and seek his guidance daily! It is wonderful to know that we have a Saviour that loves us and cares for our every need. We just need to follow his word! I am so thankful that I am on this journey with God in my life, centered again!

    Thank you for this blog!!! Very encouraging to me as a new believer in Christ!

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