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Interacting Intimately

The Oldest Wireless Radio

March 30th, 2016

With Sarah Wood

 

 

“Interacting Intimately” with Christ can be difficult in an age where we are bombarded with the noise of a society obsessed with worldly acceptance and momentary satisfaction. How do we hear the voice of God when everyone and everything else is so loud?

 

One of the most common frustrations for people struggling in their faith seems to be related to the absence of a physical presence for the eyes to see. It is this concept of, “Seeing is believing,” or “I’ll believe it when I see it,” that leaves people feeling empty. It’s as if we question our own functionality simply because we do not see God in the flesh. Another frustration similar to this is a person’s wondering, “Well, why did God talk so much to some? He isn’t talking now, because I don’t hear Him.” So, does God ignore us? Or are we just far too distracted to hear Him?

 

 This is not me berating you – even Jesus felt this all before! When Jesus was on the cross, He cried out to God, too, because He just felt… abandoned.

 

 

 

Why was God not speaking to Christ? Our perception of God’s inability to act or speak is, in reality, a misperception. To begin with, Jesus experienced God’s presence after His feelings of abandonment; they just seemed absent in that moment. God has been communicating with man since the very beginning of time. He is our oldest, wireless radio because while we haven’t always seen Him, He has been speaking to us. When you listen to the radio and you hear the radio host through the car stereo, do you see him or her? No. But you don’t question the existence of the radio host because you don’t see them in your car. Therefore, while God does not have a particular radio show to listen to on our way to work, He does have several stations that He uses to communicate with us.

 

God can speak to us in a variety of ways – of His choosing – but for now the ones we will discuss and seek to explain are through the Bible, people, events, and His words. Another key way God communicates with us is through prayer. Check out our series on prayer in “God’s Looking Glass” to see how we can humble our hearts before the Lord.

 

Another way God speaks to us is through His Word. The importance of God’s Word should not be minimalized because, through the Bible, we are given a direct line to God.

God provided man with the Word of God so that he could find strength throughout the circumstances of life. Read Matthew 4:4, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Samuel 22:31, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, and Isaiah 40:8. How is the Word of God described and explained? Why do you think Hebrews 4:12 describes the word as “sharper than any two-edged sword,” while 2 Samuel 22:31 describes it as “a shield for all those who take refuge in him?”

 

See, God understands the plights of life and gave the Word so that our faith, in the midst of hardship, may be strengthened and restored in Him. There will be times when we need the sword to combat the doubts, and times when we need the shield while we rest in Him. But what He affirms is that the Word is essential for true, everlasting life.

 

God can use people even today to convey messages to us, much like the one aboveGod directed their writing, and it is important to stress that the Holy Spirit is responsible for all that was written, not the authorThese concepts tie into the next way God communicates to us – through other people. There are 66 books in the Bible and about 40 authors; but those people were not writing their own words.

 

Utilize the notecards to track how God speaks to you. Begin by praying for wisdom, discernment, and understanding. Reflect on how individuals in you life have contributed to your spiritual growth and see how events have impacted you. Conclude by reading scripture related to what God has shown you. 

 

 

Biblically there were many times when the disciples shared messages with people and were harassed for sharing. And there were times when people were unreceptive to the messages delivered to them. But as Christians – we are responsible for both. If God imparts a message to share, we need to share it. If God has someone deliver us a message – we need to listen.

 

God can speak to us by way of events, people, Himself, and so much more. By planting ourselves with the roots of His love, we can see the many ways in which He speaks – maybe we just aren’t listening the way we should.

 

The same can be true with events. When my sister was three, she was hit by a taxi in France. I remember hearing the sirens rush to her side, my parents fearful for their child’s life. The cab passenger hugged my five-year-old self and cried loudly in French. My dad said he saw angels when she was hit – and no one could fathom how a three year old survived being hit by a cab at 60 miles per hour. But she did and is now a 19 year-old collegiate cheerleader.

 

God demonstrated His healing powers, triumph over worldly perceptions and greatness even in the capacity of saving my sister when she could have been paralyzed or killed. That being said, not all events that God uses have a “happy” ending. People die, children starve, Christians are persecuted, the innocent seem to hurt, and evil seem to prosper – so how could God be using events to speak? And, if He uses them, why are some of them so terrible?

 

When we look at the current refugee crisis taking place across the Middle East and Europe, it would seem that God is nowhere to be seen. We hear about the atrocities ISIL commits every day, bombings, torturing civilians, selling minorities into slavery, etc. It all seems

so barbaric and Godless. Yet, God is present amidst even these horrific events. While refugees have lost everything, there are still stories of hope and love. From the countless stories of forgiveness, including Myriam’s story, a little girl who forgave ISIL on a SAT-7 program, we learn how to be Christ like. And we find out what really matters in a world consumed by earthly possessions.

 

The events experienced daily by each individual are already known to God. When we call out thinking that somehow our God is unfamiliar to our strife, then we disregard the fact that He was aware of all our experiences before we even existed. All great and horrible experiences are God’s design for our lives.

 

Read Proverbs 16:3-4, Proverbs 3:5-6, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Psalm 27:14, Psalm 32:8, 1 Peter 5:10-11, and Matthew 5:3-10. How do all of these verses encourage us to trust God when He speaks to us through events? Think about how God may have used your past experiences to speak to you.

 

Finally, these all encompass how we hear Him best: through His voice. Yes, it can be difficult to listen to God when He isn’t physically present, but, as my pastor reminded me, our eyes can be deceptive. Sometimes, people have inexplicable moments with God where they feel His presence or hear Him tell them something, unable to explain how they know – but that it was Him. God is our “Oldest Wireless Radio,” urging us to tune in to His words. Read John 10. What does the example of Jesus being the shepherd and His people being His sheep say about listening and truly hearing God?

 

In a world full of distractions, seeking the truth can become overwhelming. But God has not abandoned us, we just have to listen and seek him more intimately in order to hear Him. Thanks for joining us for the “Interacting Intimately”series as we studied how to better hear God in a world full of so much noise. Join us next week for a new series on being “Employed by God.”

 

 

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