Tuning Into God
Listening for God is like tuning in an old TV. The TV is kind of touchy. The Audio always works, but the video is like an old ‘tube’ TV. Every thing’s got to be right, all the tubes working properly, for the screen to display anything but ‘snow’. In this analogy the Word of God, the Bible is our audio. Its always there for us to look thru, to study, to learn from – to build our lives on.
The TV Screen represents God’s Holy Spirit, our Friend & guide. He prays for us, & frees us from law domination & from always trying to get our own way when we seek and follow him. This analogy points out a few steps that are important if we want to hear God’s still small voice.
1. Buy a good quality TV – a translation that really speaks to me!
The Word of God tells us about God, how he works, and helps us find his will, and better understand where he is at work. I think you should use the translation that really speaks to you, but please don’t use some rare translations without first checking them against the conventional translations. I’ll vouch for the following translations; LB, NLT, MSG, NIV ASV, NKJV, MKJV, KJV, AMP, & CEV. I’ll even recommend actively using two different translations. I started journaling with the NIV. I soon found that the Living Bible made things much clearer for me. Now I switch between the Message, the New Living Translation, the New King James Version, and the NIV. When we compare translations we open ourselves up to greater understanding, we reinforce what we read, and I think we remember more. I’ve taken this a few steps further. I now have access to 8 translations, 4 commentaries, & 2 dictionaries on my PDA.
I’d like to take a moment to encourage you write things down as you study your Bibles. I followed an annual reading plan for many years. Unfortunately I found that I was writing down very similar things year after year. I found a simple way to break out of that rut. My method is pretty simple. I keep abstracts of all my old entries in one file. That way I can word search thru the all my old journals and find a lot of the key info in one place. This really is a great reference to encourage growth & development!
2. Keep your TV Turned on and powered up. The word has to be active in our life; being read, being studied, being applied. We also need to be seeking God, to be listening for his Holy Spirit. His word calls us to serve others, to spread the gospel, and to help others with their biggest need. To power up God’s word, we need to ‘wring out the sponge’ to be ready to act when the Holy Spirit guides us. We also need to find and claim the promises in the Bible.
We can work with God or against him, or we can just do nothing. Doing nothing is not what the Word calls us to. Some might try to argue that they are just letting it up to the Holy Spirit, by not setting Goals. God calls us to actively seek him & to follow his lead. James 1;5 promises that God will show us what adjustments we need to make in our lives to cooperate with him. It’s good to wait on the Lord for guidance, but once we receive it [even if not specific or complete] we are call to push forward with confidence & faith.
3. Need to be close enough to the source. [in God’s country] All transmitters have a range. We need to stay within the range of the transmitter. For communication with God, we need to be seeking him, obedient to his word. If we are seeking worldly things, and flirting w/ the devil in sin, we’re probably too far away to pick up any signal.
4. Turn up the volume. The TV has to be above all the background noise[especially the audio]. We don’t want to find ourselves leading, or filling in the blanks, our Goal is to let God lead.
– One divergence from the TV analogy; TV is one way communication, but when the Holy Spirit is fully active in our lives we have access to 2 way communications. We can and should investigate what the Bible says about our current problem, but rather than just using that & taking our best guess at applying it,[doing what we think would be best], we are called to seek God & his will. Our job, our assignment, is to let God lead. We should pray, thankfully letting our thoughts shift from our problems to Christ, to his sacrifice, just quietly, gratefully, humbly listening, not trying to work things out for ourselves. The goal is to let the Spirit direct our thoughts. He may take you to a scripture, to a story, or to another issue all together. As much as possible, try not to lead, be submissive. Though we might have asked & hoped for guidance in a certain area, the Holy Spirit may take us to an entirely different issue. Our job is cooperate, and to continue to listen. When we yield & trust that God knows what he’s doing, continuing to claim God’s promised wisdom, then we are better able to hear.
[James 1;5-8] 5 If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. 6 Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. 7 Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, 8 adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
If our mind starts to wander, that’s OK, but gently tune back to Christ & his sacrifice.
MSG Col 2;2-4 2 I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. 3 All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery! 4 I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or ” the Secret.”
God speaks to us as we read & think about his word [as we journal], but we still need to pause, to stop reading, to stop writing, and to ask the Holy Spirit pertinent questions and simply expectantly, carefully listen. If we don’t get an answer the first day, we are told to just keep on asking.
Find a good translation of God’s Word
Build your life on it’s truth
Run from sin & worldly desires
Seek God & his will -Asking God questions & listen for his responses – often he doen’t tell us quite what we wanted to hear.
Don’t be too surprised too hear;
Wrong question – try again
You know I still love them
Yes – but next time, pls consider the consequences
Are you doing you part – what I’ve asked of you
Check out the verse on … You’ll find the key.
No! That’s not the way I work.
Help us to tune into your voice, and to follow you, In Jesus name we pray, Amen