Monday, July 16, 2012

Seeking God - V

Why does it seem there are times God goes silent? There seems to be times God speaks … and continues to speak. And there are times we cannot even hear a whisper. The silences stretching out far too long.

One of my basic assumptions is that it is in God’s nature to communicate. He created communication. He excels in it. As communication is at the heart of relationship, and one of his prime purposes is the creation of a family as a center of relationship, it is his intention to maintain a constant flow of communication with that family. With all the members of that family.

So, as a member of that family, I should be receiving constant communication from the Father. As a limited human being, I know that I cannot physically be receiving constantly. The need for sleep, for one, precludes it. (God is not really limited by my sleep, because he can communicate to me in my dreams.) But I should be receiving when awake.

If it is God’s aim to consistently and continually communicate, and he is not limited by his nature, then it must be my receiver that is broken.

My lack of hearing can simply be my lack of listening. I may simply not be paying attention. This can happen with anyone. One can witness this happening with couples all the time. Stereotypically, the husband is focused on an article in the newspaper and the wife is attempting to talk about her day.

Jesus uses the metaphor of a branch connected to a vine to describe how life, power and grace flow from the God-head to his family. A focus on the relationship between God and a person is part of this connection. A loss of focus results in a loss of connection.

Another part of this connection is a heart-focus on the same things God has his heart-focus set on. If our hearts are not focused on the same things, the connection is broken and there is no communication.

Our hearts can be focused on things on things that are contrary to God’s will, or on things that are neutral. In either case, they are things that will break the connection between God’s heart and our heart, and break the communication.

The enemy delights in causing these breaks. It robs us of a source of God’s grace in our lives. And it is that grace that produces fruit. And that fruit gives God glory. Lust, hate, work or fantasy baseball can all consume our heart-focus, break the connection with God and leave us powerless.

The enemy would probably prefer to capture our heart-focus with things contrary to God’s heart. It breaks the connection, robbing us of grace, robbing us of fruit and robbing God of glory. But it robs God of glory twice by capturing our hearts with sin.

But above all, he seeks to break the connection. If we lose connection, his purposes are being attained. Why do we always think of spiritual warfare as some type of overt oppression. Satan succeeds by getting God's family to fixate on issues – even issues that we should rightly and justly be concerned with. We should be concerned with our budget. We should be concerned with problems at work. But if we are consumed by them, Satan succeeds in cutting our connection to God. We need to invite Jesus into work problems, our budget … our fantasy baseball team. (“Please, Lord, help Ichiro go 3 for 4 today, so my team batting average may improve and I might go up in the standings.” I am definitely NOT being serious here.)

Here’s a question: If we focus our heart on God and our legitimate concerns, is there a point in which Satan succeeds, because our hearts are not focused on God’s concerns? CPM’s in unreached people groups? Rampant HIV, malaria and untreatable tuberculosis? Crushing poverty sapping hope and health from families the world over? Members of his family living in love and holiness?

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