As I began to write this post, my brain was a jumbled bunch of thoughts. I was lost. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to say, but couldn't get started. Then I realized that I wasn't just listening to my own thoughts, I was also listening to the news on the TV in the background. I got up, shut off the news and almost immediately, I was tapping out words on the computer. Amazing how much clearer we can think, or deal with the task at hand, when we shut out all the 'worldly distractions" and focus. The same can most definitely be said when it comes to talking to God, or even more so, when it comes to Him communicating with us.
We've all heard stories about how God talked directly to someone. There are many in the bible, but I'm sure you know of many others which are much more recent, including in our own time. You probably even know someone who has said that they've heard the voice of God. Then why is it that so many of us feel like God doesn't talk to us? There are many reasons we can all think of, but I'd like to explore 3 that I came up with.
1) We want an answer right now! Yes, we've become, for the most part, the generation of instant gratification. Fast food, instant news, same day delivery, 30 minute oil changes, 1 hour dry cleaning and on demand movies, just to name a few. So why not fast faith? Take our concerns to God, or ask to hear from Him and whammo, prayer answered, voice of God heard. C'mon Lord, you have to adjust to the times like everyone else, right. WRONG!!! Think of all the times in our lives when we've made a snap judgment, or a decision while our emotions we're running high. Could you imagine if God answered some of those prayers right away? I know my life would be entirely different right now and it wouldn't be for the better. In fact, it's possible I might not even be here right now. I wish I could answer the questions so many of us have as to why some prayers are answered quickly, while others take what seems like an eternity. This isn't always comforting to me, but it usually helps. The Lord does His work in His time, not our time.
2) Worldly distractions. Think about our every day lives and all distractions that are in place to keep the communication lines with God clogged up or even blocked. It virtually starts the minute most of us wake up, with an alarm clock and before we fall asleep, as our cell phone goes off one more time. And in between those two occurrences, think about what else keeps us away from communicating with God. If you have kids, just taking care of them will definitely keep you busy, then throw in all their events, like band, sports, dance, after schools events, friends and most days are already jam packed. Now add in work, home and yard care, bills, social media, TV, cell phones and computers (and I'm sure you can think of more) and I would say the communication line between you and God is over loaded and possibly out of service.
3) We rarely take the time to just listen. Yes praying is important, as is just talking to God. And when we're fortunate to actually find some time to communicate with Him, we're so busy praying, talking, asking for things and making our requests known, that we rarely, if ever, just stop and listen. We rarely let our brains just shut down for awhile, clear our thoughts (see the first line of this post) and let God come to us. We have so much stuff going out that it blocks what the Lord is trying to send our way.
So how do we ever consistently stay in contact with God, when we have so many distractions that it seems like it's next to impossible? In my next post, I'm going to give you some suggestions that have worked for me. In doing my best to insert those things into my daily life, it has allowed the lines of communication to open up, the wall of distractions to crumble and me to more often hear the Lord.
Dave is the Discipleship Czar at Girard 1st. His unofficial title was given because of his love for Christ, and his consistent encouragement for people in their spiritual walk.