Most of us value the genius and hard work of an expert in a field that interest us. For example, a car enthusiast can be brought to a steady drool by a automobile. Set a car in front of him that has been finely crafted, harnessing raw power, exquisite comfort, and unparalleled handling and there is an immediate understanding and appreciation of what stands before him. An artist can stand in front of a painting from one of the masters and be brought to tears not only by its beauty, but also by the power of the message given voice through the skillful mixing of colors and design set onto the surface of a simple piece of white canvas. It is through sweat, skill, long hours, and hard work a man attains and posses the ability to do, and it is in the fruition of his strivings that he finds power, recognition, and even fulfillment through his creations, accomplishments and works. For some the ability comes very natural yet for the naturally talented, long hours and devotion are still required for success.
Through all our strivings and accomplishments we seek glory, fulfillment, recognition, value, and peace. Yet even as we showcase our grand accomplishments, at our best can do nothing more than humbly sink to our knees because we stand paltry and wanting in comparison to another. Now please don’t rush out and quit your jobs in a state of depression become a couch potato, rather consider the power of the truth of the unsurmountable weakness and need of mankind.
I am reading a book by Gary Thomas titles “The Beautiful Fight” which is an amazing and empowering book that I highly recommend. One of the chapters I just finished contained a section on becoming familiar with the voice of Christ. This section was one of those where you feel the need to read real slow, sometimes more than once, meticulously chewing and mulling over the truth that lays before you. I literally put the book down because I felt the need to mull over the significance of what I had just read. The following day, I came across a Psalm that stopped me in my tracks, and then I turned to the gospel of Mark and boom, the same truth jumped out from the scripture.
Psalm 29 starts by admonishing us to “give” to the Lord all that is rightfully due him, including glory, honor, worship…..because he is God. What’s interesting is that the rest of the chapters repeats over verse by verse a phrase that expresses one of the most amazing abilities of God, and in fact the very first of his abilities ever mentioned in Scripture. While it is not the sole ability or attribute that validate his claim and his demand and right to be called our one and only God, it is a mind boggling one.
Psalm 29:3 Begins with this powerful phrase, “The voice of the Lord” and it proceeds to list the power contained in a single word or phrase uttered from his lips. As I went through the list and then started recounting all the miracles he performed by his “word”, the importance of listening and training our ears to recognize, hear, and seek God’s voice as pointed out by Gary Thomas really hit me.
Tell an engineer, who has been to school 4-8 years that you want a car that can do A, B, & C, and perform E, F, & G, and the process from beginning to end takes months and even years, and in the end the design may never become more than a concept drawn onto a piece of paper. Contrast this with the God of Creation who in Genesis simply spoke the world into existence! This is a God who with his voice, uttered a command and in an instant every planet was aligned where it needed to be. By the breath of His mouth, every star was set in its course. By the simple utterance of a word, he hung in the heavens the constellations, which on a certain day, and in specific moment in time would align perfectly thousands of years later foretelling and proclaiming His birth. This God uttered into existence all of creation, plants, animals, and land each coexisting intertwined yet harmonious with each other. This God mad each and every animal in a moment with fully working and functioning anatomy, covering every need and process of life adaptable for living both then and in the present. It took me weeks to get the anatomy and physiology of one system down to where I fully grasped how each organ worked and entwined itself to the next. I had to study to understand how each organ could possess an amazing ability and function unique to itself yet totally dependent upon all the rest to remain viable and keep us alive. Yet, what men and women spend years in college trying to understand, the Lord created into existence in a brief moment in time. That is raw power, and that realization is what brought King David to pen the famous verses in Psalm 19 “The heavens declare the glory of God…..” and in Psalm 139:15 “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.”
The same God who did all this, and even things we have not discovered or can’t even comprehend, wants to speak to you. The God who spoke and healed the lame, the sick, and the dead, who can divide the heavens, part oceans, and vanquish sin, wants to lead, instruct and empower you. Matthew 4:24 says “And he said unto them, “take heed what you hear……and unto you that hear shall more be given” I have had to ask myself, whose voice and I listening for, to what or whom have I tuned my hears? Consider the parable of the seed of the sower. Most of us can quote what each of the sowers represent and the consequences of their actions, but I don’t think I have never given much though to the fact that “Hearing” was the great seed, or gift they were given. Each sower “heard” was given “words” and the life they had lived and the things they had given their hearts over to determined what they did with that great treasure and power.
I have been challenged to cut out that which deadens my ears to my Fathers voice. I have been challenged to search my heart and to see where all my affections lie making sure nothing is strangling the voice of truth and leading me to live a life contrary to what I am called to no matter what “todays church” tells me is acceptable.
I am humbled and amazed that the Lord of Creation wants to speak to me and I am purposed to spend the rest of my life listening for the still small voice of my Savior. If you were told a successful businessman, politician, pastor, counselor, athlete wanted to have lunch with you and advise you, would shrug him/her off and throw away the opportunity of a lifetime? Do you realize the Creator of the Universe who simply speaks and creation obeys, wants a word with you and not just today, but tomorrow and the day after and the day after that.
Who am I Lord that you even take notice of me? You created this universe, you set up kings and tear down kingdoms, you afflict and heal, you seek and you save, and you want to speak to me!!!???