REAL POWER: MAXING OUT ON GOD'S LOVE
ďHELLO SILENCE, MY OLD
FRIEND, IíVE COME TO TALK WITH YOU AGAINĒ
Simon and Garfunkel performed a song
that started with the words, ďHello silence, my old friend, Iíve come
to talk with you again.Ē Those words hit the nail on the head.
Silence must become one of your oldest and best friends if you want to
hear God speak.
Finding a quiet spot where you can
listen to Godís voice is a challenge. Itís nearly impossible to find
a place of total silence not polluted by sights and sounds that
When Jesus lived on planet earth, he
went into the desert at night to pray. After spending years living in
the desert, I can see why Jesus prayed there. There is no better
place to hear the voice of God, because the distractions are so few.
YOUR MIND IS AN
Whether you like it or not, your mind
is an associating machine. When you hear a sound, your mind heads off
in the direction of what you hear and associates it with dozens of
other things. When you see something with your eyes, your mind heads
off in the direction of what you are looking at. Between sights and
sounds, there are enough distractions to keep your mind busy pursuing
everything except Godís voice. When your mind gallops one way and
then another, it chases Godís small voice of love out of your life.
Your mind isnít naturally quiet.
Your brain has trillions of neural connections specifically designed
to associate every new input with what is already found inside your
mind. If you try to listen to God speak while your thoughts rush to
and fro, you will not hear much of what He has to say.
When I go into the desert at night,
and the billions of galaxies fill the night sky with their dim light,
I feel the presence of God more completely than when I am in a
cathedral. I can lie on my back, look at the stars, and hear God
speak. I ask my questions, listen for answers, and get my priorities
I hear God tell me about his
unconditional love. He reminds me that He is always at my side
supporting me. He tells me that I am one of his children, and that
when He created me, He had a plan and purpose for my life that is good
for me and perfect for the type of person I am. I hear him say that
He accepts me as I am, but He loves me too much to let me stay that
way. He has a plan for my life that is better than anything I can
imagine. All of these things happen after I become silent and listen.
We spend too much time listening to
what everyone else thinks and says about who we are and what we should
do with our life. We get confused by all of the conflicting
opinions. Since we never become silent and listen for Godís voice, we
become disoriented and lose our way. Rather than listen to his voice
of love, we hire a pollster to take a survey to tell us what we should
THE SAD TRUTH
The sad truth is we donít have enough
silence in our lives to be able to hear God speak. We pretend that we
want God to come thundering into our lives, grab us by the scruff of
the neck, and tell us how to live. We want everything to be
immediately clear; we donít want to stop what we are doing, become
silent, and listen.
The God of unconditional love isnít
pushy, and He isnít going to hit you over the head to get your
attention and force you into a spiritual corner. God has sent many
messengers, and his message is plain to see. His handwriting is
already on the wall. He thundered his commandments on Mount Sinai.
Nothing could be clearer than the Ten Commandments that He delivered
to Moses, and nothing could be more ignored.
God created a moral universe with
laws written into your heart that remind you of his presence. He told
you to love him with all of your heart, mind, and strength, and your
neighbor as yourself. The laws of the moral universe are clear and
unchanging. They apply equally to all people. God was not making
suggestions when He made the Ten Commandments. He told the world in
unequivocal terms the laws that govern the moral universe, and those
laws are fulfilled when you love God with all your heart, mind, and
strength. Obeying those laws keeps you from making tragic mistakes
that will ruin your life. They point you in the direction of having a
relationship with him based on love.
Nevertheless, Ten Commandments arenít
enough. When God gave those commandments, the people who heard him
speak were thunderstruck by the awesome display of God dictating the
terms of the moral universe. The commandments may get your attention
and push your mind in the right direction, but tablets of stone and
lightning and thunder will not give you a relationship with God based
on love. Even with the Ten Commandments in your hands, itís still God
voice of love that transforms your heart and mind.
To have a personal relationship with
God, and to have it grow and mature, you must become silent and
listen, and you must do it every day for the rest of your life. When
you stop listening, you start making bad choices. Without silence,
you canít listen, and without listening, you will miss out on Godís
plan for your life.
God will fill you heart with enough
love to last for a lifetime, but He will do it one day at a time.
When you become silent and listen, you will discover that his voice
has a lot to say.
God speaks all the time, but the only way I can hear him speak is to
become silent and listen. Itís impossible to have a relationship with
God unless I talk with him and listen to what He has to say. When I
stop listening, I start making bad choices. If I never become silent
and listen, I miss out on Godís plan for my life. There is no limit
to how good my life can become if I follow Godís plan. Godís love is
eternal and unconditional. I can always count on it being there.
Nevertheless, I have a short memory and must be reminded of it many
times each day. Every day I must become silent and listen to Godís
voice of love.
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