About four months ago, I lost my cell phone. Yep. I think I put it on top of my van for just a moment as I was pumping gas at Speedway. It was the last time I remember seeing it.
So let's be honest. Life basically ended for me that day. I was disconnected from the world, and I felt positively helpless.
Humans are built to communicate. Cut off the communication and we feel stifled, out-of-touch, and somewhat isolated. For some of us t,he anxiousness is too much to bear. We are trained for Instant access, and when Instant access ceases, a part of us ceases as well.
Our cell phones are extensions of our very selves. Cutting off the phone is like cutting off a life line.
Don't believe me? Just ask my college students. Some are addicted to their phones. Their phones offer them seemingly tangible extensions of their existence. They want to be virtually present in several different realms simultaneously (in the classroom AND with their friend driving to St. Pete AND with the Patriots when they score a touchdown in the last 20 seconds AND with their moms when they text, "I love you, babe").
Because I demanded their full and undivided presence, I allowed my students to pick a consequence for cell phone usage during my class: 1) put their phones in a basket upon entering the classroom; 2) get docked for participation / attendance on any day I saw their phone; or 3) let me choose. When I pitched these three options, I thought the earth might quake. They were breathless. They even asked for more time to decide. This was life-shattering news for them to take in.
Ultimately they chose Option 2.
This has me thinking about how I communicate with God seeing that I have this remarkable privilege as a believer. Do I have this same urgency about being available for Him? Is He an extension of my self? Someone I want present in every layer of my reality? How would I feel and behave if He were to be suddenly cut off?
The word "voice" in Greek is transliterated as phōnē. Our Good Shepherd Jesus tells us, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them [by name], and they follow Me" (John 10:27). Or what about this passage from Revelation 3:20: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
How often do you suppose God calls us each day? Do we hear? And if we hear, how do we answer?
God's voice comes in several ear piercing ringtones: His voice thunders upon the waters, breaks cedars in pieces, makes Lebanon and Sirion skip like a calf or young wild ox, hews out flames of fire, shakes the wilderness, makes the deer calve, and strips forrests bare (Psalm 29:3-9). Sometimes He rocks our world to get our attention.
Not only is God's voice powerfully active and booming, His divine presence may also manifest in a "still small voice" (1 Kings 19:12, KJV) -- We'll call this "on vibrate." Sometimes He gently hushes our worries and mends our hearts.
In the macro-world, God spoke creation into existence, and in the micro-world He speaks to us privately through His written Word. He also listens to us when we pray. What divine mysteries!
I wonder: What is God telling you these days? Do you hear His voice? And how do you respond? It looks like we have two choices when He calls: We listen to His voice and obey (Exo.15:26) OR We listen to His voice and harden our hearts (Psalm 95:7-8).
Just as communicating with our family, friends, and indeed the world is vitally important and relevant to us, how much moreso should be our communicating with God. Pause for a moment today to listen for His voice.
And lest you think He seldom calls, remember: communication is a two-way street. When our hearts are softened toward His (in other words, when we have His number), He always hears our call, He readily connects, and He never puts us on hold.
He gives us instant access to His heart, and never drops our call. No matter where we are located, His plan covers us--even when we roam.
Be still, and know that I am God.
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