Answering The Call is an international missions organization dedicated to reaching people in difficult to reach places.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hearing God

We often ask God to speak. Perhaps our prayer should be that we would hear. I believe He longs to speak to us and in fact is doing so much of the time, but all to often we don’t have the ears to hear. Our minds are cluttered with the distractions of the world, thus our vision becomes dim and our hearing dull to the voice of the spirit. This makes us vulnerable to the enemy of our souls who looks to take opportunity on us. Think about a radio that is turned on but not tuned to the right frequency. It may be playing and you may be able to hear a few of the words intermittently; however, if not tuned to the right frequency it is mere noise, nothing but static, annoying and confusing. It must be tuned to the right frequency in order to hear the words and make sense. I am desperate to hear from God. I want to be tuned to His frequency. His words bring rest to my soul. When He speaks and I hear, confusion leaves and peace comes.

Jesus was desperate to hear from God as well. He was constantly withdrawing from the crowds to go be alone with His Father. He regularly sought time away from the distractions of His everyday life. He often went off alone to pray. He needed this. He depended upon it. He would not have fared well if He hadn’t. If Jesus was fully man, and scripture tells us that He was, then He must have struggled with the same things we struggle. The carnal world pulled on Him; vying for His attention. We know the enemy harassed Him. Jesus knew, being fully man, He could not walk the walk God had set for Him if He didn’t commune and hear from His Father.

If Jesus needed this, then why would we think we could walk the walk God has called us to walk without doing the same? I recently read a quote that went something like this, “Jesus did not come to show us what GOD could do as much as He came to show us what MAN RIGHTLY RELATED TO GOD could do.” Jesus showed us the way to live victoriously and triumphantly. He showed us what a man rightly related to God could do. He was tuned in to His Father and He only did what He saw His father doing.

A picture God gave me years ago that I will never forget came from the movie, A Beautiful Mind. The movie is based on the true life story of John Nash, whose character was played by Russell Crowe. Nash was a brilliant mathematician who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. The movie portrays his battle with the voices in his head to the point that he becomes delusional and begins to lose his grip on reality. He was institutionalized at the height of his suffering but later went on to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. The two characters in the movie whose voices were perpetually in his head, harassing and tormenting him, playing a key role in his delusional thinking, were a little girl and a young man. After Nash’s recovery and upon winning the Nobel Prize, a reporter asked him what happened to the voices. Nash responded, “Oh, they are still there but I pay them no attention.” As he is saying this to the reporter, the screen depicts Nash walking out of a building, down the steps and onto a sidewalk while the two harassing characters walk alongside Nash from a short distance, their eyes intently focused on him seeking to get his attention. But, Nash walked straight ahead, eyes focused forward. He did not glance their way. He paid them no attention.

This scene depicts for us a spiritual reality. The distractions of the world and the voices in our head serve to distract us from the One who loves us and desires to speak clearly and tenderly to us. They bring condemnation, accusation, confusion, depression, hopelessness and are not from God. We must do as John Nash did, and pay them no attention. More importantly, we must do as Jesus did and take the time to get away from the distractions of the world and be alone with our father. This is where we will learn His voice and His will. This is where our souls will find what it is longing for; the place where our minds will be still; where we will gain the strength and courage to continue running the race set before us.