Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hearing God in a Noisy World

This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will. --
Romans 12:2

Some of my friends tease me about my so-called obsession with electronic gadgets. One of my favorite purchases of recent years was my noise-canceling headphones. I use them whenever I'm traveling by airplane. These headphones actually quiet much of the noise generated by the jet engines. The manufacturer suggests that noise cancellation reduces the stress and fatigue associated with air travel. The science behind the noise cancellation is that the headphones have microphones that monitor outside noise, then process those sound waves and generate into the headphones opposite sound waves, which cancel out the unwanted noise. It really, really works! When I use the headphones, and the jet noise is quieted, I am amazed how you can still very clearly hear the voice of someone speaking to you from the next seat.

This noise cancellation technology reminds me that in our relationship with Christ and our interaction with the Scriptures, we have a noise cancellation system. When we study and apply God's Word to our lives; when we passionately pursue Jesus' Lordship daily, the noise of the world is quieted and we can hear Him clearly. Sure, you still know the noise is out there, but the level of the roar is reduced. But, when we ignore these basic disciplines, the noise of the world increases and can become deafening -- and our lives suffer because we no longer hear God's word.

Jesus didn't intend to remove us completely from the noise of the world with its temptations, hurts, injustices and evil. No, rather He intends to protect us in the midst of these dangers -- effectively canceling the world's noise -- to a point where we can hear and respond to God's Word and our lives can be lived joyfully and effectively for Him.