I was driving to work the other day when I turned on a local Christian radio station. This particular station is a bit smaller than many and its broadcast radius is quite limited. So, as I turned a corner in the road, the once clear voice of the Bible teacher on that station became intermingled with classical piano music and static from another station. For about a mile or two, the Word of God was very difficult to make out as the words were overtaken by static, the musical notes of the piano, and the voice of the DJ. So, back and forth it went:
Bible Teacher: “Jesus said in John Chapter one, ‘in the begin . . .’
Static, static, static . . . Bb7, F#m7, A, Em . . . static, static, static
Bible Teacher: “Through Him all . . . “
D.J.: “Now we’ll enjoy Chopin’s Nocturne in B-Flat minor”
I realized that God was showing me something. In this world, there are many enticements and distractions constantly competing for our attention. Some are pretenders that hinder our ability to discern God’s voice (a voice that the Bible, at one point, calls a “still small voice”). As I drew nearer to the Christian radio station’s tower, the classical music faded and the words of John the Apostle came through clear as a bell:
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Bible reminds us that God’s children recognize his voice. It’s a wonderful truth. Equally true is that we need to be listening. My children know my voice and can discern it from all other voices. It took repetition and practice through their infant, toddler, and early years for my voice to become ingrained in their memory banks. Although for some reason, when they are playing a video game (in a trance-like state) my words don’t warrant much attention. When they turn off the game, look in my eyes and listen, the words sink in much better.
In Matthew Chapter 15, we see Jesus teaching the crowd of followers, beginning with these words, “Listen and understand ….” Jesus knew that listening is more important than hearing. Everyone within reach of Jesus’ voice could hear Him, but not everyone was listening.
We often say, “I wish I could hear the voice of God.” I think God showed me again this week that if I want to hear Him, I need to tune out all the other distractions. I need to turn off the TV, the iPod, and the computer. I need to get alone with Him, spend some time in his written Word, and on my knees in prayer. Sure God can send me an uncomfortable wake-up call, as I have oftentimes found Him doing when I ignore or fail to listen. Listening to God the first time yields much less heartache and let down than listening to the world.
Today, don’t just talk to God … listen to Him as well. Make an effort to choose one thing in your life that interferes with tuning into God’s channel. Trim down the time spent on that, and give that time to receiving God’s message. Whether you listen to God’s guidance, or you let static continually blur His message, is your decision, so choose well.
Father God, Thank You for giving me spiritual ears to hear Your voice. Help me today to tune out the noises of the world and all the other voices that hinder my walk with You. Please help me to hear, understand, and be obedient to Your call on my life. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit who makes these things possible. I pray in the name of the One who always tuned to Your frequency, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10: 27-28