Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Safest Place You Can Be...

With all the turmoil that's been going on in our life recently, and with some huge, life-impacting decisions facing us in the coming days, I told my wife over coffee this morning, "Our life is a chaotic mess right now..."
But ladies and gentlemen, I distinctly heard the voice of the Lord speak to me this morning, and what He spoke to me, I feel led to share with someone else who may be facing a similar 'chaotic mess'.
"The safest place you can be is where you are right now."
That "place" may change tomorrow, next week, six months from now; we don't know, but what I do know is that where we are right now is right in the middle of the will of God, and there is no safer place for us to be. 
It doesn't matter how big the storm, it doesn't matter how chaotic the turmoil, it doesn't matter how "upside down" your world may seem at this moment; if you are where God wants you to be, honey, you're in the safest place in the world. Nothing can touch you, nothing can stop you, nothing can harm you.
The devil is a master of deception; he is a master at distorting things; he is a liar. He cannot pluck you out of the Hand of God, and he cannot destroy you when you're in the Will of God.
The apostle Peter was a fisherman by trade; I have little doubt that he'd been in a storm before. He knew how to handle a boat in a storm. Yet he left the security that he knew, in order to step into a dimension that humanity had never stepped into: People don't walk on water. But in his answer to the invitation from Jesus, Peter found himself in an even more precarious situation than he'd faced on the boat; suddenly, there was no sure footing under his feet. A slick, wave-washed deck wasn't the surest of footing, no, but at least it was something solid under his feet.

It was something he was accustomed to.

Now he's out here in a place where man doesn't belong, trying to do something that man's not supposed to do, and the magnitude of the storm is even more enormous than before. I don't think the storm changed in intensity, but Peter's position did, and that changed his perception of the storm.
Yet in the magnitude of the storm, with the waves pulling at him, and doubt screaming in his ear, "You foolish man! You can't do this!", Peter felt the Hand of Christ reach out and catch him.
Peter was in the safest place he could have been because the moment he started sinking, the Hand of God was there to lift him out of the chaos, and lead him back to the security of the ship.
And the storm didn't stop UNTIL they came back to the boat.
Peter walked - with Jesus - back through the same storm, back to the security of the boat that he'd stepped out of, and THEN the wind ceased, and the sea became calm.
If you're in the Will of God, you are in the safest place you can possibly be. Don't fear the storm; don't be dismayed by the chaos around you; don't be deceived into thinking "I never should have left the security of where I was and what I knew..."
It doesn't matter how turbulent your situation is; you're in the safest place you can be, and the Hand of God will be there to catch you.
Hear me: God will not let you fall.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

White Noise

Due to the nature of the organization I'm employed by (technology security), we have a "white noise generator" in our building; it's purpose is to drown out conversations - face-to-face meetings as well as telephone conversations - so that those sitting nearby can't accidentally be privy to secure information.

It generates this white noise on every floor, and is constantly running. It works beautifully, as I am surrounded by other employees in low-walled cubicles, but I would have to focus intently to make out any words that are being said. In the course of a normal workday, however, with enough other stuff on my plate, I may hear voices on the other side of the cubicle wall, but never hear what's actually being said.

This noise generator works so well, and has become such an ordinary part of our workday that we no longer notice it.

Let it get turned off, and that's a completely different story.The silence is deafening, and the moment someone happens to kill the background noise, everyone notices: the questions are immediate; "Who turned off the noise? What's going on?"

Ladies and gentlemen, this world is FILLED with "white noise generators" that will drown out the sounds of the Spirit trying to speak to your heart. I confess that my family and I are in a situation now where I desperately need to hear the voice of the Lord speak clearly and distinctly (your prayers are much appreciated) and I have tried to hear Him speak. I've prayed, I've studied, I've lain awake at night praying in my spirit, asking Him not only to speak to me, but to help me HEAR when He speaks. (And He will speak, I have no doubt of that. God doesn't want His children wandering around aimlessly anymore than we want to!) Yet I've heard nothing.

This morning on the way to work, I was praying (again) and asking God, "Am I missing something? Is there something I need to lay aside? Is there something else I need to do? What am I missing?" Immediately I was reminded of this white noise generator. It has become such a part of my everyday life that I no longer notice it, hence, I no longer notice that it so successfully drowns out the voices of my colleagues. When we become so accustomed to the white noise of the world around us, we no longer notice the noise, but perhaps more importantly, we no longer realize that same white noise is drowning out the clarity of the One Voice we need desperately to hear.

Turn off the noise generators in your life. Set aside the entertainments and amusements that, although they may be harmless enough in themselves, are keeping you from hearing that Voice that wants to speak to you, that wants to give you direction. Pick up a Book - not just any book, but the Book - and immerse yourself in it. Take time to KNEEL and pray. "Fast food prayers" are about as healthy as "fast food".

Slow down. Listen. One of the most powerful statements in all the Scripture, and one that has changed my approach to Christ, is found in Luke 10:39: "...Mary...sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word."

Sometime back, the Lord spoke a simple truth into my heart (and it's one of those where I knew it was Him, because I'm not smart enough to come up with stuff like this on my own): "If Satan cannot silence the voice of God in your life, he'll do all he can to distort it."

Don't let the noise generators of this world drown out the single most important Voice you can hear.