Stop, Look and ListenJul 17th, 2010 | layout by CCD-Lanni D | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk, Godly Life
A tree fell and it caught our TV cable that made it snap and resulted in a 2-day cable-less existence. That was ok. No big deal. But when our internet connection, for whatever reason it was cut off, that’s another story. It affected me, my work and the kids…their assignments and all! Now that’s a big deal! One day without it…it was okay. 2nd day, it’s still kind of ok, but when it was 3rd day, we all started squirming, feeling restless, incomplete that we can’t connect. Yes, Globelines took a long time coming to fix it. But then, I realized something. Those times without TV cable and internet connection were actually a good thing. We had more time together as a family, more time with the Lord in prayer and His Word, more time with just thinking, meditating, just there being still before the Lord. And I really began to like it.
I think of the early church that had not much distractions like we do today. What we have in this present time produces shallow relationship with God. Our modern age suffers from a great lack of depth in our walk with the Lord. Many distractions work against a deep, substantial relationship. Jesus said that in the last days, the love of most would grow cold (Matt. 24:12Matt. 24:12
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
WP-Bible plugin). He warned about the traps that would hinder a deep relationship with Himself. He mentioned the cares of this life: the pressures of making a living, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for more and more things (see Matt. 13:3-23Matt. 13:3-23
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. 18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. offended: he relapseth, or, falleth into sin 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Our electronic age brings further distractions. Television, telephones, cellphones, the world wide web and computer games constantly flood our minds with all kinds of stimuli and ideas, gobbling up time we might have spent in meditation upon God. We are living in an age when man has become very, very broad, but not very deep. Through the mass media we can now bring up many subjects. We know a little about everything, but not much about anything. And our relationship with God has suffered as a result. In many ways, the days of the apostles were far better to our own. More readily than today, they were able to have the kind of communion and fellowship with God that creates character God can use. Think about Paul, the apostle, when he walked from Jerusalem to Caesarea, about a three-day journey. He wasn’t listening to music or keeping up on the local news. He was surrounded by nature – by the trees, the flowers, the animals. At night he would wrap himself in his blanket and look up at the stars. How could he not think about God and His creation and His works? Solitude is very conducive to communion with God, to meditation on God.
Today, in a fast-paced, crowded, information-overload generation, you’ve got so much stimuli coming into your brain that you can’t commune with God and have a time of real spiritual enrichment. Our whole society and manner of living has taken us away from simplicity. We are not as close to God as the saints of old, and that may be one reason why we do not see much of His power evidence today as it was back then. Because a prayer-less Christian is a powerless Christian. A deep-abiding faith in God is nurtured in solitude.
So, beloved, from time to time, turn off that TV, close that computer, shut off that cellphone…and listen. Stop, look and listen to the God who made you – He who desires to be with you and show you things in His Word; He who loves you and wants an intimate relationship with you.