November 12, 2018

It’s Monday and I just realized something . . . it seems to rain a lot on Mondays . . . and Wednesdays. Ha. God brings the rain and we are grateful for it but my yard is begging for a break. I hope your day and your week are off to a great start despite the dreary weather!!
The past few weeks I have been reading Mark Batterson’s book called “Whisper.” It is a book that was given to me and to be honest, a lot of times those are the books that get relegated to my bookshelf and often not read. But for some reason God prompted me to read it and so I decided to check out the first chapter. Needless to say God has been using it to speak to me. It has helped prompt our current sermon series for Sunday mornings and it has helped me on a personal level to really tune into what God is saying. I could probably spend the next 3-4 months writing each week in this spot about different facets of the book and I might, but the basic premise of the book is that God is speaking to us through a lot of different avenues but most of us simply aren’t on the same page with God because we aren’t really listening.
I believe most of us aren’t hearing God at least partially because we don’t recognize His voice when He speaks. Many of you reading this right now are probably saying to yourself, “Well I have never heard the audible voice of God so what are you talking about? Pastor, are you telling me you are hearing voices now? Should I be praying for you?” I know that sounds funny but that’s sort of how we think about God speaking to us. God has a number of ways that He speaks to us but I believe one of the primary ways He does so is in that “still small voice” in that whisper.
A great question Mark Batterson says we all must ask is this: “Is God’s voice the loudest voice in your life?” Think about that for a moment. I know in my life I am bombarded with competing voices. Some days I struggle to hear God because there are so many competing voices in my life and in my mind. And yet I know I cannot accomplish what God wants to do in my life if His voice is not the overwhelming voice I hear throughout the day. And that means most days I have to be focused on hearing Him because most days I am too busy or too distracted or I simply think I can do this on my own. We need to be like the prophet Samuel who said, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” Are you?
Did you know that a jet engine sound is around 150 decibels? Trust me, that’s loud. I hear them over my office many days. Sometimes, if I am outside, it is so loud I have to cover my ears. At the opposite end of the spectrum is a whisper, measuring just 15 decibels. 1 Kings 19:11-12 says, “Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” God has a loud voice that can get our attention but He often uses that whisper which we often miss. “When someone speaks in a whisper, you have to get very close to hear. In fact, you have to put your ear near the person’s mouth. We lean toward a whisper, and that’s what God wants. The goal of hearing the heavenly Father’s voice isn’t just hearing His voice; it’s intimacy with Him. That’s why He speaks in a whisper. He wants to be as close to us as is divinely possible!”
Oswald Chambers says, “The voice of the Spirit is as gentle as a zephyr, so gentle that unless you are living in perfect communion with God, you never hear it.” Do you get that? How many times do we miss that whisper because we are far from Him? How many times does God try to speak to us but we miss it because we have lost that perfect communion? Chambers goes on to say, “The checks of the Spirit come in the most extraordinary gentle ways, and if you are not sensitive enough to detect His voice you will quench it, and your personal spiritual life will be impaired. His checks always come as a still small voice, so small that no one but the saint notices them.” How powerful is that? And yet, as I sit here writing this I fear many of you will just read it and move on with your day. Let me encourage you right now, wherever you are reading this, to stop and say, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” And then . . . listen.
Today is the day we observe Veteran’s Day so I want to again say thanks to all our men and women who have served this country so faithfully over the many decades to help protect us and keep us safe. Someone asked me yesterday if I was a veteran (I think they wanted to count me, as I asked everyone to shake the hand of at least one veteran) and I told them no, but my Dad was. I usually tell people I came of age at the very end of the Vietnam War and like most young men at the time I was thankful I didn’t have to go, but I would have. So many did go and many did not come home. We are grateful for their sacrifice. May we never forget it.
Last Word: Come join us this Sunday night for our annual Church-wide Thanksgiving Dinner!! I know there is going to be a lot of great food and fellowship with God’s people. What more could you ask for? Come join us!!
I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?