Psalm 107:23-32 (NIV)
23 Some went out on the sea in ships;
they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the lord,
his wonderful deeds in the deep.
25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
they were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people
and praise him in the council of the elders.
Storms often rage all around us. Psalm 107 prophetically points to the story of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee. It reminds us that God is in control of everything. It also reminds us that our job is simple: alleviate distractions, slow down, and listen.
Imagine going to hear your favorite singer. When you arrive at the concert hall, you discover that he is going to be accompanied by a 200-voice choir of dreadfully tone-deaf opera singers as annoying as an out-of-tune symphony of kazoos. You leave the concert hall demanding a refund because you didn’t get to hear what you wanted. This is how the Christ-follower should feel when other voices drown out the voice of Jesus, but these dissonant voices are the static that comes from our own busyness and distraction.
At some point we must stop. Time, silence, and God’s Word create an atmosphere to be able to listen to God. We often fail to hear from God because we tend to equate faith with activity. Jesus came to bring us rest if we will only stop to listen, for He is always ready to listen to us.
This is the kind of life Jesus lived out: He connected with the Father intimately. He’s now waiting for us to stop, listen, and connect to Him intimately. As we learn to do so, the dissonant voices will fade, the storms will wane, and we will find the rest we have always wanted.
Abraham Lincoln had a good grasp on this concept. He was once quoted as saying, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” This may be why we consider Abraham Lincoln as one of the best Presidents we have ever had. He was smart enough to know that he needed help.
As we consider all the distractions in this world, let’s stop and ask ourselves these 3 important questions:
- What distractions are keeping you from being with God and listening to Him?
- How are you trying to be still and silent before God?
- What are you learning from God during your quiet times with Him?
In today’s world, it is very easy to get swept up by our own busy schedules and this can often lead to us feel like we are spinning our wheels, but not really getting anywhere. We can find that we feel very distant from God at these times.
To help remedy that situation, it is vital that we take the time to stop our lives, be quiet, and spend that time with God. God is trying to talk to us, but if we are not listening, we will never hear Him. We need to be intentional about making the time to be with Him. Put God into your schedule. Schedule out time, in your day, to spend with Him. Even if it is only 5 minutes, it will make a huge difference.
You might be wondering what to do during that time. There are many things we can do during our quiet time with God. Here are some ideas:
Read the Bible
Read a devotional
Read a Christian Book
Watch a sermon online
Listen to a sermon on cd
Meditate on what you have just read or heard
This is not an exhaustive list. Find what works best for you and do that. The important thing is that we are spending that regular time with God. It will make it a lot harder to hear those opera singers.