Imagine this: you are talking to someone when suddenly you begin hearing your voice repeating your words back to you. No one else hears this repetition. Science fiction?
Actually, this is an invention by the US Navy called acoustic hailing and disruption (AHAD). It is able to record a person’s speech and instantly broadcast it at a target in milliseconds. Its purpose is to disorient a person and prevent their communication with others. While the device has battlefield potential, it will likely be used primarily for crowd control.
Of course, there are days when being unable to communicate with others might seem to be a good thing. In the cacophony of voices inundating us from the 24/7/365 media blanket that covers our culture, some time-out for silence and solitude so we can hear our Father’s voice is a good idea.
In fact, it’s biblical. And it’s vital for our souls.
"Too many of us are not living our dreams"
This week, we’re discovering reasons and ways to wear Jesus’ “yoke,” to submit our lives to his leadership, empowering, and care (Matthew 11:28-30).
In the Monday Daily Article, we claimed the fact that our Savior is “gentle and lowly in heart” (v. 29), meaning that his will is always best for us. He also assured us that his yoke is “easy,” which means that it fits us perfectly. In yesterday’s article, we focused on the fact that we can trust our omniscient Master when we wear his yoke to lead us into our best future.
Today, we’ll focus on the present. We’ll consider ways Jesus guides those who wear his yoke, revealing his perfect will to us in every circumstance and situation. Then we’ll trust him to redeem our greatest challenges for his greatest glory.
Motivational speaker Les Brown noted: “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” What about your day today most perplexes, grieves, or troubles you? Name that challenge as we learn to submit it to the yoke of our Lord.
Three ways to catch the "wind" of the Spirit
A Norwegian company is developing a floating, offshore wind-power generator that could produce renewable energy. Named the Windcatcher, the structure would contain more than one hundred rotors stacked vertically within a 300-meter-high framework, making it about as tall as the Eiffel Tower.
Think of it: wind you cannot see generates power that changes your life and your world.
The Holy Spirit is such a “wind.” According to Jesus, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).
How can we catch this “wind” in our souls? How can we hear the voice of God’s Spirit?
One: Study the word of God.
In response to his critics, Jesus referenced 1 Samuel 21 to justify his disciples and their actions (Luke 6:3-4). He replied to Satan’s temptations by quoting God’s word (cf. Luke 4:1-12). I often reminded my seminary students that the only word God is obligated to bless is his word. Our first response in every circumstance and challenge should be to consult his written revelation.
Two: Listen to the Spirit of God.
Jesus told his followers that when they were brought before the authorities of their day, “do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12:11-12). If we will be still and listen for the Spirit’s intuitive voice, he can speak to our spirits and guide our thoughts and lives.
Three: Seek the presence of God.
Before choosing his apostles, Jesus “went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12). He sought his Father’s presence early in the morning (Mark 1:35) and late at night (Matthew 14:23). He prayed before meals (John 6:11), trials (Matthew 26:36-46), and even his own death (Luke 23:46). When we spend time alone with our Father, we can hear his voice and be empowered to obey his purpose.
"The possibility of the life we most desire"
If we will submit today’s challenges to Jesus’ yoke, seeking his direction by his word, Spirit, and presence, we can find his peace in every circumstance. For example, in Living Your Promised Land Life Now, Max Lucado writes:
“As John Wesley crossed the Atlantic, he was reading in his cabin and became aware of heavy winds knocking the ship off course. He responded in prayer. A colleague wrote it down: ‘Almighty and everlasting God ... Thou holdest the winds in thy fists and sittest upon the water floods ... command those winds and these waves that they obey Thee. Take us speedily and safely to the haven whither we would go.'”
Lucado continues: “Having offered the prayer, Wesley took up his book and continued reading. On deck, his colleague found calm winds and the ship on course. Wesley made no mention of the answered prayer. His friend wrote: ‘So fully did he expect to be heard that he took it for granted he was heard'” (his emphasis).
When we submit to the yoke of our omniscient and omnipotent Lord, we can have the same confidence.
Br. Curtis Almquist of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Boston observes:
“Each moment, each breath, holds the possibility of the life we most desire. The conversation you are now having is the most important thing. The cup of tea you are now cuddling is the most important thing. The walk you are walking is the most important thing.
“If you are washing the dishes, wash the dishes in such a way that you are really there, and the dishwashing, for the moment, is all you need. Happiness is to be found not when you finally rid yourself of the chore of the dishes, but actually in the extraordinary moment that the dishwashing invites. Breathe your way into the awareness of the sacrament of the present moment. Here and now is where God is to be found.”
What “dishes” are you washing today?
Publication date: September 8, 2021
Photo courtesy: Thinkstock
For more from the Denison Forum, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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