Learning to Appreciate the Silence

Silence is uncomfortable. Well, sometimes it can be. I believe it’s so, because silence gives us opportunity to think, to ask questions, to contemplate the world around us; and that makes us uncomfortable. Therefore, we tend to avoid it. Instead, we fill the air with the sounds of music, television sets, YouTube videos, or our own voices, and our mindseye with images from Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram (just to name a few). We’d rather listen to (or read, or view) insignificance than be forced to ponder anything of real importance. However, as believers, it’s often in these moments of silent contemplation that God reveals to us His greatest lessons.IMG_3503

Lately, I’ve been reading “Missional Motherhood,” by Gloria Furman. In one section of the book she talks about how God created us to be consumers of His Word. However, the devil, knowing that God designed us to be consumers, works at getting us to feast on things other than the Word: on stuff. Let’s face it, between social media and television, there’s no lack of exposure to “stuff.” Whether it’s material things, relationships, vacations, children, new recipes, organizational hacks, or makeup how-tos, there’s no shortage of “stuff” to preoccupy our time, energy, or thoughts. In fact, in our attempt to avoid silence and our own thoughts, we’ve become very good at silencing and drowning out the voice of God.

I know I’ve been guilty of this. Particularly as a new mom, it’s easier to sit in front of the television with a sleeping baby, or mindlessly scroll Facebook or Pinterest while nursing, than it has been to turn the pages of my Bible or talk with the Lord. But this needs to change. If we want our children to seek the Lord, then they need to see and hear their parents seeking the Lord. If we want them to have a heart for the lost, then they need to see our heart for the lost, His heart for the lost. If we want our children to live the Word, love the Word, and be consumers of the Word, then that’s what they need to see in us!

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. ~ James 1:22-25 (ESV)

Yet, let’s not stop there, the gospel message is something our children should both see evidence of and hear.

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (ESV)

In conclusion, let’s not be afraid of the moments of silence in our lives. Let us instead, appreciate them, make more opportunities for them and use them appropriately. This year–and every year, for that matter–let’s strengthen our relationship with the Lord, let’s listen intently for His voice, and let’s teach our children to do the same.

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A King Unrecognized

In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. ~(Judges 17:6, NLT)

Sorry, I’ve been away for so long, guys! It’s been pretty busy at work, since I was given two more responsibilities, and by the time I get home in the evenings I’ve been really tired and lazy. Furthermore, my weekends have been busier than I would like, so I’ve been trying to cut back on my TV time during the weekdays so I can be a better steward of my time and energy, and give you more material.

That being said, I have continued to study the Word on my own, and have finally gone back to participating in Wednesday night Bible studies this year—be it almost over. In my personal Bible study time, I’ve been reading through the book of Judges. Today as I read Judges 17-18, I noted a phrase that keeps popping up in this book: “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” I thought about these words for a few minutes and realized…but Israel did have a King!crown-of-life

God intended for Himself to be their God and King, and for Israel to obey His commands. However, Israel refused to recognize their King! We can’t be angry with Israel for doing this, though, because we’re often guilty of doing the same thing; but just because we can’t see Him, doesn’t make God any less real or sovereign.

Okay, let’s discuss the sovereignty of God for a moment. What does it actually mean? Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines someone as sovereign as “possessing unlimited power or authority; not subject to the rule or control of another.” Thus when we say God is sovereign, we mean that He has unlimited power and authority and isn’t swayed by our opinions or desires. That means when we think things should go a certain way, if our ways go against God’s plan, then we’re the ones who are in the wrong.

Unfortunately, we live in a time, where just like Israel, we do what we believe is right in our own eyes, without regard for what is right in God’s eyes. And then we have the audacity to argue with and/or question God regarding the consequences of our actions. Israel suffered under both physical and spiritual slavery and oppression because they decided not to follow God’s leadership and direction, even when God told them beforehand what would happen if they turned their backs on Him.

We should look at Israel, during the time of the judges, as an example of what not to do and recognize that God is not subject to us, instead, we are subject to Him. He’s not a genie in a lamp that grants us our every wish and whim. We are His children, devoted to Him, living to glorify Him and to share His heart with the world; that they, too, may turn towards Him and allow Him to direct their paths.

God was Israel’s King; He’s our King. May our lives be a reflection of that.