Saturday, March 1, 2008

Silence of the Lambs

It's a bad title I know, but it's what I want to talk about. Not the book or the movie. Real silence of real lambs. God's lambs. Us. Silence so that we can hear the voice of the Shepherd.

Last Sunday we had our monthly Prayer Day with our SIM family here in Coch. Each month different home groups take responsibility for leading the event. This was our time and Joe and I volunteered to teach the youth. Joe's message to them was very inspiring....if not to them at least to me. :>) He spoke about the importance of being silent and still before God and just hearing from Him.

When you think about how much noise we all have in our, friends, tvs, ipods, radios, satellite radio for when there are no other radios signal, and cell phones just to name a few there is always an opportunity to hear music or to talk with someone or to listen to something. On top of that we are surrounded by visual noise...blogs, websites, advertising, billboards, magazines, junk mail, in stores, and on the web. It's getting harder and harder to go anywhere with out audio/visual input. There are TVs in restaurants, at airports, on planes, on cruise ships, and in malls. I've even seen them in restrooms and in line at Six Flags and Disney World for pity's sake. Like we need more input in those places!! Where/when can we 'get away'?

It seems that everyone is vying for our attention. From our kids to the Coca-Cola company. Why do we put so many things in our lives to keep silence from happening ? Why is it that it is so hard for us to be quiet? To sit in silence and not just talk to God, but listen to Him? Of course He speaks to us from His Word, but that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about just being still and knowing that He is God. Just listening in silence and seeing if there is anything His Spirit wants to say to me. Silence is something that must be sought after and fought for in this day and age more than ever before I believe.

Think of how many times Jesus went to be alone with the Father. What do you think He did? Read His Bible? Well, obviously He did study and know the Bible, but he most likely didn't have any personal scrolls. He learned in the synagogue. Yet, how many times did Jesus say things like..."I only do what the Father is doing" or "The Son can do nothing of Himself, but does what He sees the Father doing" or "I only do the will of the One who sent me?" How did He know what the Father was doing? How did He know what God's will was? Sure He was God, but He was fully man as well. I believe that He knew what God's plan was because He spent time with the Father listening to Him in those times when we pulled away from the crowds. He listened to and was guided by the Spirit as well. He needed to get away from the busy-ness of this life in order to hear the Voice of the One who matters most. We must do the same.

It's too easy to stay busy in our loud, demanding worlds and not pull away in order to be still and know that He is God. When is the last time that you were quiet before God and just listened to see if He had anything He wants to say to you? Perhaps He will bring a Scripture to your mind. Maybe He'll convict you of a sin you need to confess and repent from. Maybe He'll bring to mind someone that you need to minister to or to forgive. I don't know. Ask Him.

Try this with me. Take a little time each day, more time one day a week, and an extended time once a year to pull away and listen. No talking. Just listening. It's easy for me to pour my heart out to God and talk to Him. It's much harder to listen to Him. I'm so easily distracted from listening to His voice. Perhaps Satan is afraid if I hear from God, I might actually act on it and God's will will be accomplished in my life.

There was one quote that Joe used in his lesson that I've been thinking on ever since. I'll end by sharing it with you: If someone were to follow me around for a week, would my life show that I am a person who is trying to listen to the voice of God?

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