Why Does God Whisper?


I have written about quiet before (Shhhhh), there is nothing like quiet.  Do you ever stop and listen to a breeze? Common Dandelion; Seed head; Taraxacum officinale; macro; close up;I am a very outgoing type personality, so when I get quiet people think I am sick.  When I am quiet, I am listening.

My husband and I relish in our time together when we are “quiet”.  One time my daughter asked me if we were okay.  I asked her what she meant.  She said, “you and dad go to the beach together and he fishes or reads and you shell, but you never talk.”  We talk.  We just do it without words.  Sometimes, we sit and read for hours, or we go to the beach and he fishes and I shell.  I always look up and watch him reel in his fish.  He looks out to watch me shell.  If I get out of sight for too long he comes looking to check on me.  We communicate without words, a lot.  We have been married for 43+ years and we dated almost seven.  We knew each other four years before we dated.  That is 51 years of “talking”.  Through the years we have grown close enough to not always need to “talk”.  But, we talk, we communicate.  We do not have to shout to each other, or constantly talk out loud.  With some relationships, quiet IS conversation.

Our walk with the Lord is like that.  God doesn’t yell to us or shout from Heaven.  Most of what He tells us is in a whisper.  Why?   

There is a story of an old preacher who is visited by a young man in trouble.  He tells the preacher he has prayed and prayed and God has not answered.  The old preacher says something.  But, the young man could not hear him, so he moved closer, “what did you say?”  The preacher repeats it, and again the young man moves closer, “What?  I cannot hear you.”  One more time the old preacher repeats himself and the young man walks right up to him and asks him to repeat again.   “God sometimes whispers,” he said, “so we will move closer to hear Him.”

My best conversations with GOD are when I say nothing at all.

1 Kings 19:11-13 (HCSB) Then He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord’s presence.”At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Suddenly, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

James 1:19 (NASB) This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak…”

(Other Posts on Quiet: Pick-a-little, Talk-a-little  O be careful little mouth what you say… )

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Stuck in NEUTRAL?


Life can be like an amusement park’s race-track ride.  There are those that pay extra and get the Fast Pass with no waiting, on queue and no taking turns. They haven’t the patience to wait and they do not want to waste time in line because they want to see it all.  They rush around the park looking for the Fast Pass kiosk.  It’s always their turn.  Then there are those that stand in line no matter how long it takes for a chance to be in the car and in the race.  And of course there are always those that just skip the ride and are spectators.Neutral

Are you on a fast track, a slow track or no track?  I think most of us are hustling around at break neck speed, never slowing in the physical realm. But, what about our spiritual life?  Not so simple is it?  Like the world that has caught us up on the speedy path in our daily activities, we are caught up on the world’s pace in the spiritual realm.  But, truthfully, while it may be speedy, it’s actually in neutral.  We’re sitting still, in neutral and the track is moving.

I’ve probably totally confused most of you now.  Here’s what I mean.

1) I watched as a couple met in a parking lot.  She ran around to open the back door, reached in and grabbed the toddler out of the car-seat.  He reached in and got a small suitcase.  In a matter of moments the child had gone from one household to another, an emotionless exchange on the part of the two adults between each other. They barely made eye contact.  The toddler looked complacent, use to the exchange.  It was all done on neutral ground.

2) I watched a pre-teen negotiate the mom in the store.  They wanted a CD.  The mom said she really didn’t want them listening to that kind of music and that she really couldn’t afford it right now.  The child looked at her and raising their voice said, “That’s so stupid.  Life’s stupid, you’re stupid.”  Looking at her child with a sigh she said, “well I guess if you feel you really need it, we’ll get it.”  She didn’t want a scene, she was tired so she took neutral ground in her mind, and gave in to the demand.  She was picking her battle and this was one she thought she could lose. What she did was neutral to hold what she thought was mutual ground and not alienate her child, but in actuality she simply gave up more ground.

3) I watch people make a commitment to a cause, a vow, a decision.  They make resolutions to help someone, to become a better person and to improve a situation.  Noble on the onset, time rushes in and they become neutral.  Their commitment to pray for someone becomes a ritual and has no meaning.  They begin to lose conviction and their vow no longer matters, they change their mind on their decision.  They become politically correct so has not to cause division.  They are stuck in neutral.

No matter the situation in your life, a broken commitment, vow or decision… somewhere you went from mutual ground to neutral ground and left The Lord out of the situation, taking it in your own hands.  There are religions that teach prayer three times a day, or chants and ritualistic prayers.  When your life gets in the fast track and out of control you have forgotten a major TRUTH – YOU HAVE CONSTANT ACCESS.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”

How? It means you are always in line with Heaven. You can hear and you can talk with your Lord.  You are always in tune with Him,  on His frequency, talking with Him.  Just as though He were seated in the car with you, you can always talk with Him and He with you.

Problems in situations in your life? It is probably because:

You gave up mutual ground with those in your life for neutral ground when you left Holy Ground.

The Pain’s The Thang


My mother would always steer clear of people who gave “organ recitals” as she called them.  They were “downers”, depressing people. Your mistake would be to ask, “how are you”?  They never got better, something was always wrong, yet they were at the mall, in church, at the school function.  They sounded as though they were dying yet they looked and acted fine.  Some people never get enough attention.lookatme

Makes you want to give them their own t-shirt, “here’s your sign”!

Many of us have our issues, our daily battles.  I have to say my chronic condition is a struggle.  Mom and dad raised us that if you were this side of the grass to get on with your life and bear up under what ever it is you’re going through.  Physically it is hard I know, trust me.  (I will not give you an “organ recital” now, so don’t worry :-D).  Unless you had a fever or couldn’t keep your food down, you went to school and later on work.  My father had a great work ethic.  He went back to work a month after he had his right lung removed and worked for many more years.  It is a mind-set, mind over matter… you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

Work ethic, seems to be a vanishing concept.  People would rather complain about what needs to be done, how hard it is to do it or even about the paper cut that is going to keep them from doing the job.  “It’s too heavy, I don’t do ladders, my foot hurts, my back hurts ….”.  Down deep I think it simply they need someone to look at them and give them attention.  There is a legitimate time of sickness or injury, but using it for attention or to make your life easier just makes you an HYPOCHONDRIAC!

 

Sadly, many people carry this mentality into their spiritual life as well.  I call them “Spiritual Hypochondriacs”.  hypo It is no secret that in the Christian life we have ups and downs, mountains and valleys.  Some people hit the valley once and get stuck.  They clamp down on the experience and never get better.  They remember when things were better, when God blessed them and everything was smooth.  Every time you meet them they have the same prayer request.  Let me insert here I am not talking about a long time illness, financial situation, loss loved one, etc.  I am talking personal growth.  Many times we do go through an extended time in the valley because we do not grow in the Lord, we do not learn what He brought us there to learn.  Our daily life is about growing more in the Lord.  If we get stuck in the valley, we are not feeding our spiritual life.  We are not reading His word, praying for others, talking with Him daily.  We need to fellowship with other Christians who help pull us along and we in turn pull them along when the road is hard.  If we are not doing His work, helping others then we “are all about me”.  It’s the spiritual version of “look at me”.   These kind of people become cancers and spread through a body of believers, making them all “doubting Thomas’s; woe is us Christians”.  Nothing the devil likes better than to get Christians in to spiritual hypochondria.

Got pain?  Don’t make it the thang.  Take a time of rest if you need it, let it heal or get better, but do not wallow in your illness.  Doctors say that positive attitudes and can do spirit helps people heal faster than many medicines.  For Christians, that same attitude applies.  Sometimes the valley is long, it is a drudgery of day-to-day, never-ending it would seem.  But, the Scriptures tell us,

James 1:2-4(HCSB)Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”

Some coach has taken credit for the “No Pain, No Gain” concept.  But it came from the Bible.  Let people hear of your journey, counting it all joy with expectation of what the Lord is going to accomplish in your journey.

Don’t make the PAIN the THANG!

smile-through-the-pain

Short cut!


Short cuts…

Short cuts

they save time and gas money on our journeys.  We love them.  Most of us know all the ones around our area.  Then there are the short cuts on computers.  Recognize any in the picture?  I love them … they save time AND brain cells.

Got any boxed mixes in the cabinet?  Oh yeah, love those too … save time, energy and it is a fast road to something good to eat.

I guess I really love the computer ones; especially the one at the top that helps with all of my “too quick to click” problems.  (UNDO or Ctrl + Z.)

Our short cut mentality takes over in every area of our lives.  Once we start incorporating it in one area, it slips over into another, then another.  But, we get the job done.  Or, do we?  You see people taking “short cuts” in their work, raising their kids and even in their spiritual lives.  They use quick fixes … putting off the inevitable.  Unfortunately, like our little computer menu, they need an  “UNDO” because eventually short cuts catch up with you.

Remember the movie “SANTA CLAUS” where the elf, Patches, designs a machine to shortcut production?  That turned out well., right?  How about at your job, or as a mom … a dad, an employee, or a church volunteer; taking any short cuts and “getting ‘er done”?  Sometimes it is not about finishing, in fact most of life is not just finishing, it is how you got to the finish; the journey.

Many  are wiping their brows, “whew, got them graduated”.   A diploma from high school, college, etc. is nice.  You “got ‘er done”.  Now comes the hard part, where you sit back and see if  all the short cuts you took raising them are going to back fire.  Are there “holes” in their so-called education?  Oh, they can read and write, but where are they on a spiritual level?  Where are they in character?  What values do they have, if any?  Did you just raise them the way you were raised, or maybe you insisted on raising them “better than your parents raised you”.

Look at your work ethics.  Will they work like you?  Is that a good thing?  How about your spiritual life; will they walk like you?  Is that a good thing?  Have you passed on a “short cut” mentality to the next generation?  Is saving time a good thing?  What did you really save?

The good news is, in the Christian life there is an “UNDO” button =  Control + Christ.  Did any of those “too quick to click” maneuvers backfire  in an area of your life and  you do not know how to fix the mess you have made?  Put it in His hands.  It is never too late to turn it over to Him.  He has been waiting  for you to relinquish control.  At work, at home, raising kids, volunteering at church … put the control in Christ’s hands.

PROVERBS 3: 5-7 “5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes…”

Short cuts in your work life, your home life, children’s lives or church life will bring forth poor results.  Take time to seek Him, read His word and talk with Him … often.  Then, as we all will need to do, use the UNDO daily.

(Disclaimer:  NO, this was not inspired by any of my friends who happen to have high school and college graduations right now :-D).

It ain’t over ’til ….


I am constantly amazed at the words that come out of parents’ mouths.  Recently one parent said, “I just wanna get them saved so I can quit worrying about them.”  Really?  First of all, you can lead them, you can pray for them, guide them, instruct them …. you   CANNOT SAVE them.

John 3:16(HCSB)   “For God loved the world in this way:  He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” 

The Gk word houtos, commonly translated in Jn 3:16 as “so” or “so much” occurs over 200 times in the NT. Almost without exception it is an adverb of manner, not degree (for example, see Mt 1:18). It only means “so much” when modifying an adjective (see Gl 3:3; Rv 16:18). Manner seems primarily in view in Jn 3:16, which explains the HCSB‘s rendering. Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

Salvation is the gift of God.  You do not earn it and you cannot give it to someone, least of all your child.   You can share what salvation in your life means and you can pray they come to know God through His son Jesus Christ.  They have to accept the gift, you can not make them take it so they will be safe.

But, once they are saved it is not over.  You must raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  Disciplining them in the ways of our Lord, helping them to grow.  When a baby is born into this world that is not the end.  Just as you care and raise them in the world, a new-born in Christ must also be cared for and raised in the spiritual world.  You would not let your newborn flounder around on their own for sustenance, yet many a parent “gets” their child saved and thinks, “whew, now that’s done.”   As a  parent you see to their physical and mental needs (or you should) and likewise you need to see to their spiritual needs, teaching them in the ways of the Lord.  Getting them to Sunday School, youth group and church is a start.  But, you must also walk the talk you talk.  It is not, “do as I say do while you’re doing as you please”.  Your child becoming a man or woman of God is a growing process.  It does not happen overnight or when they are saved.  It is not over at that point.  It is just starting.

1 Corinthians 13:11 (NASB) When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.”

When you bring a child into the world, you must tend to their physical, mental and emotional needs or you are abusive in the world’s eyes.  God’s Word says you are responsible for their spiritual life as well.  How much more accountable should we be to their spiritual needs?  They have all the electronic toys, stylish clothes and treats to eat.  But, have you provided for their spiritual needs?

Proverbs 22:6(KJV)Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Some people cling to Proverbs 2:6 as a promise.  It is not a promise, it is a proverb.  However, if you ignore the proverb you are setting your child up for spiritual failure and being lost and condemned.  It will always be their choice to choose God or reject God.  It was satan’s* choice that got him kicked out of Heaven.  God is not a puppet master and we are not puppets.  If you do all you can do to raise your child up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and they choose to not accept, do not let satan* lie to you and blame you.  Just keep praying for that child.  You planted the seeds, someone else may harvest the crop.  You just keep watering it with your prayers.

It ain’t over … it’s just begun.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) 5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.”

*satan – I know people capitalize the “S” but, I don’t.  I refuse to give him any status of importance.  He’s a snake, so satan, devil, etc. are lower case, as he is one.