Monday, February 7, 2011

Sometimes we need to be in silence in order to hear

We live in a technological golden age. That is a plain and simple fact. In our society today, everyone over the age of eight has a cell phone, anyone over the age of 12 is on Facebook or Myspace or Twitter, and it seems just about every college student has an iPhone, iPod, iPad or Mac Laptop. Hey I won’t lie, I have a cell phone, I am on Facebook, I own and use an iPod, and had a Mac Laptop in College (I now have newer Mac desktop that I am currently typing this blog on). However, considering how much we have to constantly distract and keep noise around us at all times, our generation has a tendency to claim they are bored so very often.

I personally have come to believe that God does not want us to be constantly surrounded by noise and fast paced, technology driven living. This is message of the Five For Fighting song “Slice” that I believe God is speaking to all of us through.

This song asks us to recall a time ‘a long long time ago” when “chevy’s and levee’s played on the radio” (an obvious reference to Don McLean’s “American Pie”) a time before cell phones where there were just “20,000 lights swaying on a Saturday night.”

You see at the end of early rock and roll concerts fans would in unison light their cigarette lighters and hold them in the air as a sign that they wanted the band to play an encore. If you have ever been to a concert you know the sense of community that can be present there. It is the same kind of sense of community one might feel at a baseball game. See at a sporting event or a rock concert the people gathered there are all unified on one thing. At a sporting event thousands of people are there to cheer on their home team to a victory. At a rock concert thousands of people are in attendance to hear their favorite band play their favorite songs live in front of their very eyes!

Gathering in community is important for us as Believers. The author of Hebrews even commands us to meet together to Worship and to encourage each other (Hebrews 10:25). The main difference between rock concerts or ball games and church is that in church we are gathered in community to Worship the one true God who loves us and desires us to Worship Him in joy, so that the Joy we have in Him will be seen through us as we go out and love the people in the world that He created. It is this concept that John Piper writes about in his book that I am currently reading “Desiring God.”

As “Slice” continues on, the singer speaks of how America seemed so much simpler before blogs, cell phones and other technology took over. You see I think what he is trying to say is just 30-40 short years ago a person could truly get away from distractions. For example, back then when Friday evening came a person could get away from the office and spend uninterrupted time with his family, because there were no cell phones for him to be reached on 24 hours a day.

The Psalms have a lot to say about seeking God in the quiet and stillness of our hearts. In Psalm 46:10a the Psalmist is writing from God’s perspective stating “Be still and know that I am God” in Psalm 37:7 David writes “Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for him to act.”

I don’t know about you but how often do we do this? I know I don’t do this nearly often enough. You see friends, God desires to meet with us, but in order for Him to truly be able to do that. We need to strip away all our other distractions and seek Him and Him alone. That has gotten harder than ever in the age in which we live, but thus we simply need to make more of a conscious effort to do just that.

One of the great things about one of the Churches I am a part of, is that we set aside time each Wednesday evening to come together to seek the Lord in Prayer. As I have made it priority to go at least two or three times a month, I find God speaking to me more clearly than He ever has before! If any of you readers out there have ever found yourself in a desert time in your walk with God, I recommend that you truly strip away your distractions and be quiet in His presence. He often speaks like He did to Elijah on the mountaintop in 1 Kings 19:12, in a quiet whisper, that we need to be in complete silence to hear.

It is no wonder that the Bible tells us that Jesus went off very early in the morning to a solitary place to pray (Mark 1:35), He was demonstrating to all of us the importance of seeking the Lord in the stillness of our own hearts! While it has become very difficult in our culture to be in complete silence, I believe it may be all the more crucial in our times that we live in right now!

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