(written by: Kristin Funston)
I come to you today with an apology. Because I don’t have it figured out. Not yet, at least.
What is “it” that I don’t have figured out? Well … all of it.
Allow me to explain…
I was asked to write about “tuning in” to God voice to kick off this week here on the blog. I had every intention of writing and posting for you yesterday.
I had good intentions.
But then Independence Day happened, and fireworks keeping everyone in my family awake happened, and then work called in, and then the toddler fell and got hurt, and then there were burgers to make for the cook-out, and then and then and then…
To be honest, “and then” has been the theme of my life this year. It’s
days weeks months like this where I feel like I have whiplash from all the directions I’m facing on this walk through life. A chain of events follows the whiplash, where I ask if I am facing the right directions in the first place? And then I wonder if I’m tuned in to God’s will for me? Am I tuned in to Him at all?
So I wonder if I am the one who should be writing about “tuning in”? Because I wonder if what I’m hearing is His voice or the static disguised by all these good intentions?
I also wonder if I’m not alone?
At this point, can we even tell the difference in the static of our everyday and Our Everything?
And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)
So let’s take a minute to do what needs to be done. Would you join me in taking some static inventory and then the steps to turning down the buzz and turning up His voice?
I’m personally in Transition Mode right now. We’ll call it a “season.” (That’s correct Christian speak, right? *wink*) I’m in a season where I have a new job, my volunteer responsibilities are shifting, I am traveling for other obligations, there are extended family issues needing to be handled, vacations, deadlines to meet, oh yeah… and then I have my husband and kids. (Minor details, right?) (Oh, and it’s summer and the kids are ALWAYS hungry or bored.)
The static of daily life crackles loud.
Maybe your static doesn’t involve a new job or travel, like mine.
Maybe your static involves middle of the night infant feedings or night terrors from a 5 year old.
Maybe your static sounds like a sixteen year old reving the engine of a 12 ton Honda Worry Machine on wheels.
Maybe your static is the peace and quiet of an empty nest.
What is the current buzz in our ears right now? What are the things trying desperately to fill the God-sized space in our hearts?
Have you thought of yours? (If not, I can wait right here while you do … if so, continue reading.)
So what do we do about this static? Well, I have three things that if done in order, I
believe know will lead to hearing less buzz and more of His clear voice.
Since we’re on the topic of typical Christian speak (*wink*), I’ll go with the typical Christian answer for everything …
It may be a typical answer, but it’s because it works. No matter the circumstances, just do it.
Sometimes our prayers feel like they fall flat. Pray anyway.
Sometimes our prayers feel self-indulgent. Pray anyway.
Sometimes our prayers feel weak and non-profound. Pray anyway.
Sometimes our prayers feel silly. Pray anyway.
Sometimes our prayers are already in abundance. Pray anyway.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers of the people offered in this place. (2 Chronicles 7:14-15)
God hears our prayers and He will answer them in some way, shape or form. So do it anyway.
The second Christiany-term I want to toss out there is …
There are lots of theological strategies out there on how to correctly or effectively “abide in Christ,” but an easy and practical way for us to do so is by reading the bible.
Easy enough, right?
Wrong. The static gets louder when we go to crack open and flip through His tissue-like paper.
Even when we are exhausted and want to sleep in a few more minutes. Read it anyway.
Even when our kids are screaming for breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack, dinner and dessert. Read it anyway.
Even when we don’t like reading. Read it anyway.
Even when we’d rather listen to worship music. Read it anyway.
Even when we know what it says already. Read it anyway.
The enemy knows his voice is silenced when we read God’s Word.
So let’s shut him up and read.
After all of that, then it’s time to pay attention. Pay attention to everything. Our thoughts, our feelings, our friends, our words, our circumstances… Ask questions that guide us in a more specific direction.
What is the thing that makes us stronger and fills us with hope?
But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. (1 Corinthians 14:3)
What is the thing that makes our insides churn and our hearts burn?
They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)
Line the clues up against what scripture says and ask what is God presently speaking to me?
When we do all of this, I think we may just hear His voice.
Pray ~ Abide ~ Pay attention ~ Repeat