Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shut up and Listen

                Is there any excuse for the cruel neglect that this blog has suffered?  Probably not.  So I’ll just say this: I will do better in the future.

                Shut up and listen…I think that’s what God means when He says, “Be still and know that I am God.”  (Psalm 46:10)  My family went camping in the Rockies about a week ago, and I realized just how much I need to shut up and listen to God.  We were hiking this trail and we sat down beside a snow-melt creek that ran through a little pasture.  You could see the mountains right there.  I was suddenly struck with how awesome our Creator is, and I just sat there, reveling in it.  That’s what it means to be still and know He’s God.  It means being so caught up in Him that you don’t have any words of your own left.  It’s when you catch a glimpse of how big, how powerful, how beautiful He really is.  It’s when it’s not about me at all and it’s all about Him. 

                Sometimes I wonder if this state of worship is what prayer really should be like.  Too often, God’s children come before Him with nothing but a list and a desire for Him to fix all their problems.  You know the drill: “God be with my friends, my church, my family, my dog, the sick people, the old people, the mean people, and everybody else.  Amen.”  Now, of course, God wants to hear about our problems, even our extensive list of problems.  1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for us.”  But He also wants a relationship.  When we come before Him with a heart that wants nothing more than to be in the presence of the Almighty God, then I think we’re really praying.  Prayer isn’t about saying the right thing or checking something off your to-do list.  It’s about talking to the best Friend anybody could ever have. 

And, honestly, it’s not being a very good friend to Him to sit and chatter on all the time.  Just like in human relationships, sometimes we need to be quiet and listen to what God’s got to say.  How do we do that?  Through the Bible, of course, first and foremost. God speaks in other ways, but nothing we “hear” actually from Him unless it is affirmed by His Word.   Sometimes God speaks through friends and family members.  Nature constantly proclaims God’s “divine power and eternal nature.”  (Romans 1:20)  There have been times when I’ve heard God’s Spirit speaking, not aloud of course, but with that quiet, direction in my heart.  God speaks in so many different ways if we’ll just shut up and listen.