Posts Tagged ‘1 Kings’

Sunday May 17, 2010 Sermon Recording:   Small Voice

Video used (watch this brief 2 minute video before listening to sermon)  Selective Attention Test

Scripture:  1 Kings 19

The idea of God using a “small voice” can, on the surface, seem frustrating.  This is one of those thoughts I sometimes have mid sermon and wish I had time to explore more, or at least have thought of the day before.  During the second service I began thinking of that old Seinfeld episode with the quiet talker.  It was the episode that Jerry agreed to wear one of her ‘pirate shirts’ mainly because he couldn’t hear what she was saying and didn’t feel like asking again.  I wondered how many times we just nod along with what we think God wants and never seek out confirmation.  We would rather God just speak up.

On the surface I can’t blame us for wanting God to speak up.  There are times I made poor decisions on what I thought was good information, or at least good guidance.  Yea, I know,  I sound like a politician now.  That sound is what happens when we do honest self-reflection.  We can easily turn into what Shakespeare calls “the anointed sovereign of sighs and groans” (don’t let that impress you, I do like William, but I got that off my Shakespeare coffee mug of insults.  Hey, even my pottery is sarcastic! Who knew?)  Basically, as I reflect upon my times of frustration with God, I usually, if I am honest, discover the frustration is with myself.  Sure, it begin with God, but what I come to realize is that my urgency is because I have come to God a little too late with my issues or didn’t quite listen.

I used to work for a company called BMI.  A reputable company, and one that I believe their existence is important, but made of humans and all that comes with that baggage. Just like any corporation, there are VP’s, and Directors, and Managers, and cubicle people.  Being one of the cubicle people (the only time I ever really appreciated Dilbert) I remember getting directives to drop whatever we were doing and do only what the VP’s were telling their Directors to tell their managers to tell us to do. I also remember thinking, “why is your neglect turned emergency our emergency”.  Now, I know the answer to that, I’m a cubicle person and I existed for the sake of the company.  But, that always stuck in my crawl (whatever that is).  There was a break down of communication and another persons neglect became my emergency.  There were times that we had ways to fix a problem but VP couldn’t hear us because they were in a crisis and that was all they could see.

Now flip the chain of command.  We are in a place where we suddenly need direction, help, whatever.  We seek God.  He speaks to us, but we can’t understand because we are bombarded with the noise of our anxiety.  Does God need to speak up, or do we need to quiet down.  Sydney, my daughter, is 2 years old.  There are times I marvel that someone so small can make a noise that loud.  I have worked with children enough in my life and study their behavior enough to know that reasoning does not work.  Sometimes, we just have to let her let it out.  We don’t give in, because that only feeds the behavior, but we let her have her right to cry (or scream like a banshee… whatever that is).  Once she settles down, lets the noise out, we can then communicate and learn that she wants the plastic Buzz Light Year not the stuffed Buzz Light Year  (I know, what was I thinking).  In our desire to hear God, usually our inability has more to do with the noise we are making than the volume of the speaker.  How do we reduce the noise?  It is learning how to hear his voice.  The only way to do that is to listen daily.  The noise of the world will keep coming, but if we seek out the voice of God daily in our life, we will find we can hear his whisper above all else.  As a matter of fact, the very act of trying to listen to God starts to transform how we live.

I challenge you to try this exercise this week; take 5 to 10 minutes each day and pray this prayer. Lord, teach me to hear you through all of my senses and all I do, by what I see, hear, taste, touch, and even smell.  Once you pray this, be still for a few minutes.  After your time of meditation, reflect on what you heard, think you heard, or were being directed to do.  It may be to read more scripture, it may be to care for a friend, change how you treat a co-worker, it may be to be still.  It may be that you didn’t hear anything, but just keep doing this.  It might be good to keep a journal.  I would also encourage you to share some of this with a trusted friend.  Maybe even commit to you both doing it and sharing with each other what you discovered at the end of the week.  Above all, don’t despair if this is not easy or you hear nothing, God is not excluding you, seek guidance from those you trust who are mature in the faith.

I am not promising miracles, but the beginning or a renewal of a connection with God.  The saying is true, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

Worship Music this past week:

(for those who use this section for song ideas, we have a little retro recently, but will be adding new songs soon)

  1. Your Grace is Enough (Matt Maher)
  2. O Praise Him (David Crowder)
  3. Everlasting God (Chris Tomlin)
  4. You Are My King (Billy Foote)

Read Full Post »