Categories
Christian Living devotional

Hearing God in the Stillness

The chapel where my wife and I attend worship was built in 1935. Constructed in the Neo-gothic style, it resembles a smaller version of a Western European cathedral. And like any old building, it has a unique personality. As a musician, I used to enjoy the quirky sounds our little chapel made. The creaky floor boards in the choir loft were my favorite.

But the powers that be decided to install a fancy geo-thermal heating and air-conditioning system in the building. One with a fan motor that runs 24/7. And the incessant drone of moving air–through the vents in the sanctuary–totally ruined the audio ambiance!

But this past Sunday a miracle occurred! Someone switched the HVAC fan to run on a cycle. You can hear the church building again-creaky floor boards and all!

I sat there in the choir loft before the worship service, soaking in the silence. Then it came to me in a moment of sudden insight: “It’s so quiet you can hear God!”

How many times in life does the “white noise” of the world drowned out His still, small voice? All the screens in my home practically scream, “Pay attention to me!” Then there’s the miniature slot machine in my pocket.📲 Some still call it a phone. Yet it’s far more addictive than the kind that once sat on a little table.☎️

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46:10

Stillness does not come naturally to me. I’ve always been a bit of a squirrel.🐿. I savor quiet contemplation with God, but find I must carve this time out if it’s going to happen.

For the past forty or so years–since I was a teenager–I’ve consistently spent time with God at the beginning of every morning. The first hour of the day, it’s just Him and me. I read scripture and devotional thoughts, spend time in prayer, and jot down my impressions.

Incidentally, I found the Lord’s prescription for hearing Him better: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”— Isaiah 30:15 (NIV) The Israelites of that time didn’t listen; but you and I know better.

What is your practice for spending quality time with God? I’d love to hear about it! Please share in the comments, if you’d like.

🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com. This isn’t my church, but it looks similar.

Categories
Christian Blog

Weeds

It happens every spring, intruders invade my lawn. Hardy weeds with sinister names like, Bullnettle and Prickly Lettuce, and ones with cute names, like Chickweed and Goosegrass, try to choke out my beautiful Bermuda.

Enter, the Weed Sheriff. That’s me. You’ve got to stop the trespassers before they go to seed and make those little burrs that stick to your dog’s fur.

No weed is safe in MY yard!

I know, I know, I could treat my whole lawn with some industrial strength herbicide. But I ENJOY weed busting.

When I think of a large yard that has both good green plants and bad, it reminds me of Paul’s advice to his young protege, Timothy.

In a large house there are articles of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

2 Timothy 2:20-21 (NIV)

Weeds are like sin to the Christian life. Both are instruments of ignoble purposes. Allow me to illustrate with a particularly insightful acrostic:😀

  • Pervasive – the weeds of sin are all too common and hard to stop.
  • Invasive -they pry and protrude into our lives.
  • Evasive -weeds are deceptive and misleading, often camouflaging themselves.

There’s not just PIE in the sky, there’s some right off the back patio. Therefore, daily weed control (confession of sin) is a necessity. My former pastor and mentor, called this cleansing process, God’s ‘washcloth.’

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 (NIV)

Weeding must be intentional.

But how do we tell the grass from the weeds? No worries. The best strategy is to not be the only sheriff in town; ask the Holy Spirit to treat your whole life with a heavenly strength herbicide.

Get rid of the weeds and God’s grass will grow.

Photo by u00c1kos Szabu00f3 on Pexels.com

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Galations 5:22-25 (NIV)

https://davidsdailydose.org/2020/08/08/weeds/

Photo by zhang kaiyv on Pexels.com

Categories
Christian Living Repentance

The Holy North Face

Have you heard the one about the guy who washed his hands too much during the pandemic?

Repentance is like that. Cleansing of sin reveals answers from God

A church where I once served held a unique series of revival meetings. Our pastor called it a “solemn assembly.” One like good king Jehosophat proclaimed for Judah in 2 Chronicles 20:1-34.

The congregation met each evening for worship and prayer, but with no preaching. This went on for a week. As we sought God, confessing our corporate shortcomings, divine answers appeared.

It was a type of two-factor authentication–to use the cyber security lingo.

“Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol.” Psalm 24 :3-4 (NIV)

Clean hands and a pure heart: the two things needed to climb the holy north face. It’s thought-provoking here that hand washing comes BEFORE heart cleansing. That’s because the purest form of worship is repentance. I experienced this personally during those revival meetings. As my view of God became clearer, my walk with Him grew closer.

Seeking God in earnest reveals the true nature of one’s heart. In my case, there was too much of me. Recognition and a change of heart’s direction cleared the road back to the Father. But this practice hasn’t been a “one and done” event. The narrow path to heaven is susceptible to drifted snow.

Need answers? Invite yourself to a Solemn Assembly–just you and God. It will be a purifying experience. I know this because it was for me.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)