Quieting the Noise

When was the last time you heard from God? I’m not asking about the lesson you heard in your worship gathering or in your small group discussion last week. No, I’m after something much more personal here. I’m asking about your intimate connection with the Father.

When was the last time you talked to him as you would your best friend? Do you remember the conversation? What did you say? How’d you feel while y’all spent time together? And one more question…

What did he say?

If you’re like me, honestly answering this question can be one of the most challenging things in your relationship with God. So often we come to God with our agendas, locked in our schedules, focused on our pursuits. But deep down, we know there’s more to our relationship with God than this. We know he is aching to not be talked at but to meet us in this conversation. To walk with us in our lives and to intimately guide our movements. He longs to be heard and known by us.

This kind of relationship requires something of us. Like any relationship we value, it takes work. Pursuit. Sacrifice. Intentionality. In the midst of this fast-paced world we find ourselves in, how do we make room for this with our Father?

In July 2012, I wrote a blog entry entitled, “Communicating with God.” In that entry, I discussed how social media promises unlimited connections with people but also threatens our real, deepening connections at the same time. In the year and a half since, I have experienced the danger of it. I try to set limits and live in healthy boundaries but even with this, it’s often hard to quiet the clutter.

I realize that in order for me to truly reflect the Father’s heart to people, I need to be immersed in him. Covered in his presence. Guided by his Spirit. Filled with his word. This can’t be accidental or even secondary. It must be primary. I need to pursue him with the same passion he is pursuing me!

In order to focus on this, I am initiating a 40 day media fast. I’m going to quiet my world of social media, TV, sports updates, etc. in order to be more present with the Father. I’m not checking out of the world or out of relationships. I’m simply quieting the noise so I can hear better. Truer.

May he be heard and known by and through me as a result!

 

 

Communicating with God

Tech stuff has always been fascinating for me. I enjoy checking out my friends’ new computers, video games and phones. Speaking of phones, I am continually amazed at the seemingly endless production of new apps that keep hitting the market. There is truly one for everything! But for the most part, I have seen all of these advances as luxuries…even clutter.

I enjoy a simple, slow-paced, relational way of life. I would much rather sit down with a friend face to face than to send them an e-mail, Facebook post or text. One of my favorite things in all the world is experiencing what happens when authentic connections are made. Like the relationships that are built when people share their lives over a meal. Acceptance. Friendship. Intimacy. It’s a great way to live!

Question: In a world full of blogs (like this one), tweets, texts, voice mails, news bulletins and on and on…Is it possible to really have deep,¬†uninterrupted connections with people? Are we so socially available through media that we are no longer available personally?

I’ve wrestled with this for quite some time. I have resisted getting a twitter account and have purposefully limited my time on Facebook. I have operated with an engagement philosophy of, “If I am with someone, I am not available to anyone else” – of course with one exception…my wife!

If you are reading this blog, then you have noticed I have recently opened myself up to using these social media tools more actively. But as I do, I am attempting to function out of one driving principle: “Communicate with people, not with media!” People’s hearts are still first. True relationship is still the goal. Authentically loving them is still the key.

As we live in and experience this busy, cluttered world that bombards us with new possibilities every second, we cannot lose sight of God’s heart. That people are his greatest love. As Jesus followers, we must keep this perspective. If we do, every time people communicate with us – whether in person or on-line – they will find themselves encountering the truest heart of all. And through us, they just might find themselves communicating with God!