Monday, October 9, 2017


I could use a smart phone app for my walk with the Lord. There is one called EverDrive that is designed to help you minimize DISTRACTED DRIVING. It helps you track your driving habits so that you can be motivated to know when you are distracted and do something to limit those distractions. I have a condition I call DISTRACTED CHRISTIANITY. I am a Christian and I want a strong walk with the Lord. I know what I need to do to strengthen that walk, but I am distracted by the things of this world - good things and bad things - and don't always spend the time with the Lord that I want to spend every day.

Most Christians would agree that my goal is their goal: it is my hearts' desire to know God's Will for my life. There are a lot of things that are vying for our time: the television, the Internet, our children, our jobs, household duties, yard work, recreation, sports, etc. There are so many ways that we are being pulled to do things other than those we say we want to do. I believe what is written in Matthew 6:33 that if I seek first His kingdom and His righteousness then all these things will be given to me as well. If I seek God first, then I will be equipped to parent my children the way God wants me to parent them, be a good friend to others, be successful in life, be effective in my job, and handle all the challenges and problems that Satan and this world can throw at me. What do I need to accomplish that? What do ANY of us need to accomplish that? We need to prepare our hearts and minds in order to hear from God. That sounds simple enough, but because of all the distractions that Satan and this world surrounds us with, it can be very challenging. Plus, even when we can minimize or eliminate distractions in our lives, we need to know how God speaks, when God speaks, and that it is GOD that is speaking to us instead of someone else. Remember, there are OTHER VOICES out there speaking: our own voices, other people’s, and Satan's. God speaks to us continually and in many ways. The question is are we receiving it? Are we tuning in?

Get really quiet for a moment. Do you hear those voices? You don’t? What about if you turn on the radio? Why didn’t we hear those voices before doing that?  We did not hear the voices because WE DID NOT TUNE IN. We did not have the receiver on. Those voices were there, but we just had to TUNE IN to hear them.

We need to learn how to tune in to hear God’s voice. In the garden, there were two voices talking to Adam and Eve: God's and Satan's. That’s why Jesus says “take heed (or consider carefully) to what you hear” (Mark 4, Luke 8:18). In other words, be careful to what you listen to. Be very careful, because Satan speaks. Isn’t it amazing that Satan is called the “prince and power of the air”? Did you know that when you speak, when the words come out of your mouth, before they enter the other person ear, they travel through what… the air. Do you think Satan might try to twist your words? Take heed what you hear. It’s not just God broadcasting. Someone else is broadcasting, too. Also, be careful because sometimes you hear your own thoughts and think it is God.

So how do we tune in to hear God speak to us? The first step is actually one of the hardest things to do. We live in such a fast-paced society and live such busy lives, that it takes purposeful planning to make this happen.

1. BE STILL AND WORSHIP.  Psalm 46:10 reads as follows: “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” In Exodus 14:13-15, Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” In Psalm 37:6-8, we are told to “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” If we cannot be still, it will be harder to know that it is truly God speaking to us. Don’t go straight to prayer and reading the Word without first getting STILL before the Lord. We need to BE STILL and give the Almighty God the undivided attention that He deserves and that we need so that we can hear His voice clearly.

2. SPEND TIME WITH HIM IN PRAYER. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us that we should, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Praying is spending time with God. It is personal and intimate. What if you were in the hospital and you had a friend who came every single morning and dropped off some books for you to read. They were great books and you had them every day to read whenever you want to. And you had another friend who came by and actually spent time with you and talked with you and prayed with you and laughed with you. Which would you prefer? The one who spends time with you? The one who just drops off books for you to read? God wants BOTH… He wants you to read the books He has given you, but He also wants you to spend time with Him.

3. READ AND STUDY HIS WORD. When should we read and study the Bible – morning or night? How should we read the Bible – from start to finish in the sequence of the Books? By topic? A chapter a day? Should we use one of those “Read through the Bible in a year” plans? What version Bible should we use? When reading the Bible, it makes sense to choose a version that is easy to read and understand. When studying God’s Word, you may want a different version, and you would benefit from having a study Bible, a concordance, and even Bible commentaries. What Bible reading plan is the best? There are even BIBLE APPS now. Where in the Bible should you read? There are a lot of opinions about how and when to read the Bible… But I will tell you the answer. You won’t have to wonder anymore. In fact, it’s simple really. Want to know? You read ON THE INSIDE. I’ve read the outside and I have that memorized: HOLY BIBLE. Don’t make it complicated… keep it simple and meaningful.

4. MEDITATE ON HIS WORD. There are many references to meditation, pondering, and thinking in the Bible, encouraging us to engage our thoughts with His Word. In fact, the words meditate and meditation occur 21 times in the Bible and the words think, thinking, and thoughts, 252 times. Mind is mentioned 163 times and the word ponder is found 9 times. If you are skeptical about meditation, it may be because of what you remember New Agers did in the 70’s when the talk was all about transcendental meditation, karma, mantra, and zen… and people were taught that you had to sit a certain way, breathe a certain way, and empty your minds before you could achieve balance in your life. When God asks us to meditate on His Word, He is asking us to develop a Biblical habit. Biblical meditation is the powerful practice of pondering, personalizing, and practicing Scripture. Biblical meditation is not just reading Scripture, it is THINKING scripture, memorizing Scripture… contemplating, visualizing, and personifying the precious truths God has given us. Like water flowing through a fountain, water through a radiator, or oil through a machine, Scripture should be constantly circulating through our minds and hearts so that we become God-conditioned. In the process, we start to look at things as He does. We start seeing life from His point of view. Our attitudes become healthier and our emotions fall into line. 1 Timothy 4:15 says, “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.” Meditation will draw you closer to the Lord and give you fresh insights into His Ways, His Will, and His Word. Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight.” 

Some of the greatest heroes of our faith modeled it for us:
  • In the age of the patriarchs, Isaac went out at dusk to meditate in the fields (Genesis 24:63). 
  • The Lord told Joshua about the Law of God: “Meditate on it day and night… then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8). 
  • The Psalmist pictured those who meditate day and night as fruitful trees by rivers of water (Psalm 1:2-3). 
  • Jeremiah said, “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight” (Jeremiah 15:16). 
  • The Virgin Mary treasured God’s Words and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19). 
  • Jesus advised His followers to “hear the word, accept it, meditate on it, act on it, and bear fruit” (Mark 4:20). 
  • The apostle Paul told us to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy… we are to meditate on those things AND put them into practice. As a result, the God of peace will be with us. (Philippians 4:8) 
5. LISTEN & WRITE. Keeping a journal to write down what God speaks to you after you pray, read & study His Word is a wonderful way to be able to keep up with His conversations with you and to track His promises and when they are fulfilled. This will encourage you so much! If you aren’t convinced that writing things down is important, think about it this way: if God who created the heaven and the earth, and the universe and all that is in it speaks to you, should we rely on our memory or should we write it down so we can remember it, reflect upon it, and act upon it?!

In summary, to tune in to God, we need to tune out the distractions of this life. We need to: be still & worship, pray, read & study His Word, meditate on His Scripture, and listen to His voice and write down what He says so that we can regularly reflect upon it. If we would do these things, we will hear from God and our lives would be so much better. If we draw near to Him, He WILL draw near to us.

~Pastor Kay Dillard