Psalm 50:1-3 (NIV)
The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets. From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth. Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages.
From time to time, my husband and I take impromptu rides to nowhere. Hopping in the car without a real destination, just stealing away for a few moments together alone. It seems silly to do so since we live in a house with ample space. Our home also is filled with responsibilities, distractions and other people vying our time and attention which we willing give away. But when it is just the two of us driving to no real destination just intent on being together something miraculous happens, we communicate. This is definitely a marriage builder and I highly recommend it to couples especially those who are in the midst of raising children. It is good to regroup. Get on the same page. Here the heart of your beloved, partner and friend. I think our relationships would prosper if given more of this uncompromised time without all the other things vying for our attention.
When our car rides begin, we are usually silent. Neither one saying very much just decompressing from the day or week. As time goes by, the quiet melts as we begin to talk with one another. To be honest, most of the time I am sad when it ends. There are many distractions. We live by schedule, routine and agenda so when given the opportunity to relax it is often in the world of “me time” doing something mindless and meaningless to relieve the stress of the day. Relationships left unattended will not survive. We must invest ourselves into them to keep them alive. All of them. How many friends lose touch over the distance of time? People change and so do the dynamics of their relationships. Married friends lose touch with single people. Parents don’t have time for the childless. We become self-consumed in life naturally. Suddenly we are in a wilderness and sometimes feel quite alone.
The Lord speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets. Each day my husband and I get up in the wee hours of morning. It wasn’t always this way but several years ago – we decided to carve out some time to hear from God. I want to hear His Voice. He speaks. He is constantly summoning His People. Do we respond? I must admit that on some mornings when I am tired or just not thrilled to be up – I sit silently a bit miffed. But I choose to wait…and wait depending on how bad my attitude is until I can hear Him speaking again. God is not silent. So why can’t we hear the Lord?
Psalm 95:6-9 (NIV)
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice, “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
Hard hearts close the ears of people. Pride will add to its thickness. Those who think they know it all or have it altogether, have no need for the Lord on this day at this very hour. But let their world fall apart, He is the first One they call. Raising five children, there have been many times it feels as though I am talking to myself and others until I am blue in the face yet they choose to ignore me. This is not without consequence. When my children became adults, I can give them advice but no longer do I have authority over their life so they are free to choose whether or not they listen to me. Each one dictates the parameters of our relationship by their willingness to communicate. Some call me first. Others wait until exhausting all efforts or hit the bottom. It is their right as adults to live as they desire.
Today, if only you would hear His Voice… A plea for communication that is so important and vital to our relationship with the Lord. To open our ears and hearts to His Voice each day. I know it sounds ridiculous to some because truthfully at first His Voice sounds a lot like our own. A day will come when God will speak to you directly. You will know that it is the Lord without question. It will melt your heart in a moment as He writes His Word on your heart. These are the moments that I long for. The life-changing times when I finally open my ears and heart to the Lord so He can answer. The Lord is speaking. Are you listening? Am I listening with my heart not my head?
Proverbs 8:6-9 (NIV)
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
God speaks wisdom in our life. Do we truly want to know what the Lord has to say to us? Do we desire His Instruction or is our longing for pacification? Do we want God to fix our circumstances, improve our situation or change us? We bring Him our grocery list like the local merchant waiting for Him to fill our order, expecting Him to do it immediately and exactly how we specify. This is not the Will of God. This is not His Way. It is definitely not His Word. The Lord has a plan for each us that contains a future and hope. He wants and has prescribed the very best for our life with the ultimate destination of life forever in His Kingdom. Is that what we are after?
When we moved into our first house, we were so excited. Crying out to all, look what the Lord has done. Telling others of the Goodness of God. Well, after a long day of moving and wrestling with five young children, we plopped in our bed. As we lay in the quiet, we began to hear the cars on the highway behind our house. The longer we laid there the louder it seemed to get. My husband said, “I wonder if we will get used to that?” “I guess we are going to have to since we just signed a 30-year note.” Over time, we didn’t hear the semis rushing by any longer as the noises fading in the night. They were still there just as before, but we soon got used to them.
Have we gotten used to hearing the Voice of God and learned to ignore it? Have I developed selective hearing only listening when I need something not for His Heart, too? I know that when we traveled with all the children, I learned to block out their chattering. So much so that sometimes if one of them were calling to me, they would have yell to invade my thoughts so I might hear them. God is always speaking and summoning us to a closer walk with Him. He is talking. Are we listening? Or have the things of this world allowed our thoughts to wander? Are you filling our head with things that are contradictory to His Voice so we don’t really want to hear from Him anymore?
John 3:28-30 (NIV)
“You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.”
We are the Bride of Christ. How could we not want to hear the Bridegroom’s Voice? He has been gone a long time. There are so many other voices vying for our attention. He asking for us to come closer and talk with Him – privately, intimately and alone. If my husband wants to go for a ride, or I do – the other one comes. Why? We love each other. We want to spend time together. We need to communicate to continue to grow our relationship.
We must not allow any other voice to take precedent over God’s Voice in our life. People have many opinions even those with the best of intentions. The Lord speaks the unadulterated Truth in our life. He speaks directly to us. His Spirit inside of us takes that Word and makes sense out of it working it through our heart and mind until we become connected with it. His Voice must become greater than any other in our life. I must learn to talk less in His Presence and listen more. This is the place I find peace in the wait for my Bridegroom’s return.
When our son was in Kuwait serving our country, I kept one of the online messengers on at work. My ears (and heart) were tuned into the little “yoo-hoo” sound that it made when our son was online and could chat for a moment or two. This didn’t happen every day. When it did, I would stop everything, close the door to my office, and spend time with him. Why? He is my son. I love him. I missed him. I wanted to be sure that he was okay. If he needed anything, I would send it that day. Whatever I could do to be connected with him, if even for five minutes was a huge blessing. Imagine how our Father in Heaven feels about us? Jesus died just to restore effective communication with the Father for us. What are we doing to preserve it? God is always calling you. He desires our attention, communication, and love. What are we giving Him?
I Kings 19:11-13 (NIV)
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
I love this story. I read it all the time. There is something about when the wind, earthquake and fire pass and the Lord breathes on us that changes everything. I have had my world fall apart. I have had my heart irrevocably broken so many times. Yet each time, the Lord has been right there in the midst of it all to whisper His Love and Affirmation for me backed by His Promise. I wonder if He rushed to me or if in fact, He was always right there whispering but I was not listening. God is speaking. He is summoning us to His Side because He loves us. What is our response? Are we too busy? Too overwhelming? Too tired? Too sick? Too broken? Too distracted? Doing too much? Thinking too much? Talking too much? Everything we need is found in Him. The enemy knows if he can “too” us into not spending time with the Lord and listening to His Voice, he can easily overtake us and is doing it every day. Driving us into hiding rather than running from the Power of God in us, we must come out of the “caves” of life and spend some time with Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd. His Sheep will listen to His Voice and respond to Him. (John 10:14-16)
What will be your response today to the Voice of God? Will you put Him off one more day until you get a few more things done or will you drop everything for the One who loves you most and best? Jesus is our beloved. He desires to communicate with you – His Bride- each and every day never missing a moment. Do you desire time with Him too? Make the time to spend with the Lord. Turn off and leave behind every distraction in your life. Take a ride. Close the door. Do whatever it takes and wait as long as it takes to hear Him speak. He will, if you will only listen.
Hebrews 12:25-29 (NIV)
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”