Tuesday, July 7, 2015
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I went out shooting, yes, as in a gun, with a friend of mine a while back, and I got a high caliber scare! The report of one volley of gunfire was so loud it literally made me deaf for a little while. I mean it was just temporary, just a few minutes, but I'll tell you it was all the deafness I ever want to experience. It is not a pleasant prospect to imagine hearing no children's laughter, no tender words, no music, no birds singing, and I had a new understanding of the tragedy of deafness. There's one kind, though, that isn't a tragedy. It's a triumph.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How to Hear God."
Our word for today from the Word of God; we're in Psalm 46, and you'll find it to be a very familiar phrase out of the Bible I think. David has said that God is our "Help in trouble," and then it goes on and talks about, "We won't fear though the earth gives away," (Wow!) "or the mountains fall into the heart of the sea." That's pretty tough times. "Though the waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging." He's talking about the times when everything's in upheaval. And following on the heels of all this turbulence he says in Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God."
If you've ever done much formal Bible study you might have run into a biblical scholar named William Barclay, who wrote some commentaries that have some, you know, sometimes helpful information. I certainly don't agree with everything that he wrote by any means, but there was a lot in there that really brought some scriptures to life. I've reached into my library and pulled out his volume on whatever book of the Bible that I'm studying.
I learned that he was really quite a powerful preacher until he began to lose his hearing. When he was almost completely deaf, instead of losing hope, he consecrated this new life of deafness to the Lord and he immersed himself in a world where he could hear, he said, only one voice - the voice of God. And in that environment he said it opened him up to whole new understandings.
You know, it's God's intention that we actually have times of planned deafness where we're deaf to every other voice but God's. We're wired by God, our Creator, to need regular time where we hear no voice but His. Jesus often did that in the midst of the most demanding responsibilities any man ever had. Now, that requires privacy; you've got to find a place where it's just you and Him. It requires time, because it takes a little while to silence all the other chatter inside so you can only hear one voice. And maybe that's why it's even good to do it in the morning to try to get a jump on the day before you look at any emails, before you turn on the television, before you check the news. Maybe even before anybody else is up. It's just me and you God time.
And this requires consistency, because practice makes perfect. And you need to do it like building one day on the next day on the next day. Emily Dickinson, the poet, said, "The world is too much with us." Do you ever feel like that?
Let me ask you, "When is your time to hear that only one voice - the voice from heaven?" When you turn off your cell phone, your iPod, the television, the computer, even those closest to you and you get in touch with heaven. You know what happens? Some things that looked really big look a lot smaller, and you experience like a shower for your soul that washes off the stresses of the pressure cooker living we're all doing. But it won't happen unless you plan it.
Make it a non-negotiable of your schedule. Plan it so you are deaf to earth for a while so you can hear from heaven.