Summary: When one becomes too busy to read the Bible, meditate and pray; business becomes the unrivaled archenemy of spiritual authenticity and a god to that person! To find out how to slow down to hear the voice of God please read this sermon
God Speaks to our Hearts
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
God is speaking but are you listening? While we would all like to say, “if God spoke to me I would hear Him,” how often does the noise of this high paced, frantic world we live in drown out the gentle whisper of our Lord? Revved up to 10,000 RPMs, in an attempt to keep up and exceed the performance of all others, has left most Christians with no time to hear the voice of God and develop a living, dynamic relationship with their Savior. When one becomes too busy to read the Bible, meditate and pray; business becomes the unrivaled archenemy of spiritual authenticity and a god to that person! The Psalmist says that we are to be still to know God. The first part of this sermon is going to explain how one can reduce one’s RPMs through journaling, fasting and by practicing silence and solitude. And the last part of this sermon is going to explain how to listen as God speaks directly to a person through the direct promptings of His Spirit.
Your RPM Level
The world tells us that the key to promotions, more money and power is accomplished through the shear grit to work the relentless hours needed to outperform all others. Once indoctrinated with the phrase “time is money,” one can easily justify “revving up our business engines” by adopting a work ethic that crams more into a day by starting work earlier and finishing late. While the average work week has dropped from about 70 hours a week in the late 1800s to about 40 today, considering about 2/3rds of households have two people working, not much has changed in relation to the insane number of hours we have to work. What revs up our business engines even more is the constant drive to have our children and ourselves involved in as many events possible. To have our children become well rounded and successful in life the world tells us to sign them up to as many sports, music, arts and leadership activities that we can find. The world tells us adults that success is measured by the number of events on our calendars! Chocked with life’s worries while chasing riches and pleasures (Luke 8:14); we rev our business engines to peak capacity and as a result can almost see the living waters of God’s presence give way to our fiery passions of ever increasing performance.
If one truly wants to obtain a “supernatural walk with a living, dynamic, communicating God” then one simply must learn how to slow down and be still (Psalms 46:10). One method of reducing RPMs is the practice of journaling. Those who write down their experiences, observations, reflections and feelings each day not only increase their self-discipline but often receive the benefits of an increase in their mindfulness, IQ, emotional intelligence, memory and comprehension, ability to achieve goals, communication skills, healing, creativity and self-confidence. Even though we are told in Scripture to examine ourselves to see whether we are walking in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5), most Christians rarely do so and end up repeating the same spiritual mistakes over and over again and as a result do not grow closer to Jesus. Buying a notebook and taking even ten minutes a day to journal not only slows down the revs but also helps to soften our hearts so that we might better distinguish and confess our sins, and strengthen our faith to see the face of God both in the good and bad times.
Another method of slowing down those business revs is through fasting. The Yale Anchor Bible Dictionary defines biblical fasting as the “deliberate, temporary abstention from food for religious reasons.” While there are examples of “absolute fasts” in the Bible in which the people abstained from both food and water such as Ester 4:16, most fasts in the Bible do not restrict water. Some of the medical benefits of fasting are weight loss, the detoxification and rebooting of the immune system, lower triglycerides, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduced insulin resistance, inducing cellular repair and increasing levels of endorphins that makes you feel “good.” While these benefits are impressive the main benefit and goal of fasting is to draw nearer to God while feasting on His word and voice through prayer. Fasting has a way of drawing out those things in life that control us and as such should begin with a time of reflection and repentance. It is amazing how much clearer we can talk to God when we focus on nothing but Him!
One of the best methods of slowing those business revs and hearing the voice of God in our prayers is by practicing the spiritual discipline of silence and solitude. This discipline involves removing every distraction of the body, mind and spirit so that one might hear a Divine whisper when spoken. While we know we are to be still to know God (Psalms 46:10), many Christians rarely practice this discipline not only due to being too busy or too lazy but mostly out of fear of being alone with a holy God who is going confront them on how they are living their lives. Since the tongue is a powerful weapon of manipulation, being silent is uncomfortable for it puts a stopper on our self-justification. Being alone with God is also frightening to those who do not want to give Jesus the “wheel” of their hearts and allow Him to direct their paths. To overcome our fear of being confronted by a holy God one must not forget that God truly loves us and merely wants us to be more like Him. Examined, confronted and repented sin is forgiven (1 John 1:9) and forgotten (Isaiah 43:25); while cherished sin means that God won’t listen to our prayers (Psalms 66:18). And when it comes to who should make life-decisions we should take Jesus’ example who through solitude and prayer sought advice from God the Father before starting ministry (Matthew 4:1-11), choosing the twelve disciples (Luke 6:12) and before going to the cross (Matthew 26:36-46).