Friday, June 4, 2010

Coffee with Louie at 4 AM

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You know those nights that not matter what you do, eat, read, and maybe for you die-hards like me, clean—that you cannot fall asleep? A couple nights ago, I found myself so incredibly restless and unable to sleep. I went to bed at 11:00 pm and got up at 1:00 am and just laid there wide awake. I attempted to journal a bit in efforts to quiet my mind and then dozed until about 4:00 am. I decided to get up and just have a quiet time. I wanted to listen to a couple sermons online but my internet was being goofy so I found this Louie Giglio sermon that a friend of mine had given me on CD about a year and half ago. It was on the topic of “Being Disciplined in Solitude” and waiting for God to speak to you and do His will. Isn’t it funny that many of us do not like those awkward silences created in conversation or in church services when maybe the pastor is coming up to speak or the worship team is coming up to play?

So often we as Christians go off once we have prayed about something and say “This must be where God wants me to go…” without really sitting still and listening for the Lord’s reply. Now, I know that God speaks through different ways. He may not present himself in an audible-sense, but there is something to behold in waiting in silence for God. That morning I actually sat there after I heard the sermon …planning on just sitting in silence for 5 minutes. Those 5 minutes turned into one of the most remarkable experiences for me and actually turned into 15 minutes of solitude! I couldn’t help but be somewhat fearful! I was totally alone and it was early in the morning and I feel like I was able to relate to those Bible characters who are visited by an angel or the 11 disciples sitting in that room when Christ appeared out of no where. I was actually nervous! I knew that if God wanted to really show up and speak to me in some supernatural way—He could. I loved it! I felt God’s presence like I had never felt it before and I thought, “Oh man, just imagine when He is standing before me!” I can completely understand and relate to John now when he was first instructed to write Revelation how and why he fell dead because in those few moments of silence, If anyone were to appear before me: I would have too! HA. Another thing that made these moments so sweet was that as I was watching the hand on the clock on my wall go around, I was in total anticipation of God doing something-believing He would.

Louie goes on to explain the scripture found in John, “My sheep know my voice.” And so we as Christ-followers should be able to identify His voice above every other noise. In reality though, I struggle so often in hearing his voice simply because I listen to other “shepherds.” Shepherds like the media, friends, family and even my own thoughts. I often think in song lyrics and although these shepherds may even be means of which God can speak through—my heart longs for whisper from God. You know a passage that I have come to love on this subject and is one that Louie touches on in this sermon is the story of Elijah listening for God. It’s found in 1 Kings 19:1-18. Elijah is defeated and was fearful for his life so he ran off into the wilderness. He’s sleeping under a broom tree an this angel touched him and said “Arise and eat.” So he did and then he fell back asleep only to get woken up again to eat and go on a journey to Horeb, the mount of God.

Our story continues on when Elijah gets to this cave and the word of the Lord comes to him saying “What are you doing here?” Elijah admits to his defeated spirit and is ready to die like the other prophets. Then God instructs him to go out on this mount—so he obeys. Read what happens next…

“11And he said, "Go out and(A) stand on the mount before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and(B) a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind(C) an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.[a] 13And when Elijah heard it,(D) he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold,(E) there came a voice to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"” ESV

I don’t know about you, but we serve a big God and I would only expect His ways of communication to be just that: Big! However, this scripture shows something so captivating about our God: He whispers. He wasn’t in the wind, earthquake or fire, the word of the Lord came in a whisper. And did you see how Elijah reacted to the whisper---he was in total awe of the presence of the Lord that he had to cover his face! A whisper. Wow. And then it’s like God just tenderly says, “What are you doing here?” Man. Do you not find this quality of God amazing and captivating? It is just satisfying for me to delight in this—wow.

You know that feeling when someone you are close with—maybe a spouse, a friend of a family member gives you a hug and whispers encouraging words to you? I can recall countless times after a race that my mom comes over to me and gives me a hug and whispers with tear-filled eyes, “I’m so proud of you Joni!” Or maybe it’s a husband drawing his wife to him saying, “You are so beautiful.” Ah! There is something about the act of being near someone you love and for the words shared between two people being in a whisper. Where do you think that gift comes from? God. Our God is so marvelous in the way He communicates with His children; don’t drown-out silence, embrace it, and anticipate God’s whisper.

1 comment:

  1. God is awesome like that. He could talk to us through a fireworks display if He wanted to, but He often chooses to whisper instead. I need to listen more. A friend of mine told me once, "God gave us two ears and one mouth. Maybe He is trying to tell us we should listen twice as often as we talk."