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Archive for February 16th, 2010

God in the Desert

February 16th, 2010

We are given no miraculous signs;
       no prophets are left,
       and none of us knows how long this will be.

Psalm 74:9

 

The idolater believes in the god he can touch. The feeler believes in the god he can feel. The thinker believes in the god he can understand. But beyond what we can feel and grasp is the God who is. We have not stood in faith until we have believed in God despite our inability to comprehend the presence or the ways of God.

 

The psalmist cried out in a time devoid of current witnesses to God but he cried out to God all the same. Signs and prophets have a way of competing with the affections and devotions we are to direct to God alone, and when our lives are missing the external stimuli then we are given an opportunity to truly focus on God. We have to ask ourselves in our church experience, if the music did not exist, if the preacher was less interesting to listen to, would we still feel impressed to come? Is it a performance or worship?

 

The Prophet Elijah was roused from his sleep in a cave at Mt Horeb and told to stand on the mountain for the Lord was about to pass by. A mighty wind tore the mountain apart, but the Lord was not in the wind. Then an earthquake shook the mountain, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. Then fire spread through the hills, but the Lord was not in the fire. Then came the still, small voice of God, a quiet whisper, that projected itself to the very core of his being and Elijah knew he was in the presence of God.

 

Are you hungry for an encounter with the living God or is your faith invested in the cultural externals of Christianity? There is nothing wrong with loving music, or finding someone interesting to listen to, but these are not the Lord. Get alone with God until you can hear His voice and recognize Him apart from the competing din of religious noises. If He has cast you out into the desert, to the place devoid of external stimuli, it is so that you will hear His quiet whisper in your soul. He is searching for us. Are we listening for Him?

 

Prayer:

 

Lord, create within our hearts a real hunger for You. Let us not be satisfied with substitutes that are intended to help us worship but can distract and compete with real devotion. Speak to our hearts this day Your message that rebukes, redeems, and restores. Amen.  

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