Sunday, May 27, 2012

Listening for God's Voice

Sandra D. Bricker was an entertainment publicist in Los Angeles for 15+ years. She is now a best-selling, award-winning author of laugh-out-loud fiction for the inspirational market. As an ovarian cancer survivor, she gears time and effort toward raising awareness and funds for research, diagnostics and a cure. Her latest novel, Book #3 of 4 in the Another Emma Rae Creation series for Abingdon Press, is Always the Designer, Never the Bride. Sandie invites every reader to click the FOLLOW button on her newly-redesigned BLOG and contribute to the ongoing conversations.

I’m pleased to be back to share with you a special Bible study that I write for my church, CedarCreek, and their daily Bible study program called Living It Out (LIO). Each study is taken from the pastor's Sunday sermon, attempting to bring clarity and further explanation, or just to bless you in a deeper way as you strive to "live out" the teachings of the Bible. If you're interested in a deeper look at what you read here, please feel free to SIGN UP  for daily emailed studies to be sent to your inbox, or check out the audio versions for a quick Bible pick-me-up each day.

Words truly do matter! After all, if you misspell a word or forget a word, it could change the entire meaning of what you are trying to say. Take a gander at excerpts from actual church bulletins across the country and see why words matters:

  • Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
  • The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.
  • Evening massage - 6 p.m.
  • The Pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.
  • Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 p.m. Please use the back door.
  • Ushers will eat latecomers.
  • Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.
  • The Rev. Merriwether spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.
  • Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service. The pastor will then speak on "It's a Terrible Experience."
  • Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.
  • Don't let worry kill you off—let the church help.

Although we can get a good laugh from these Bulletin Bloopers, we need to realize that we are competing with voices and words trying to drown out the Word of God and its truth and how God speaks to us and impacts our daily lives.

Looking through the window on the morning of an unexpected snow, it can be difficult to spot the traces of the familiar path of the driveway or the sidewalk. But since you’ve lived in that home for many winters, you know it’s there; it’s just a matter of hauling out the shovel or the snow-blower and getting to work at finding it. It’s the same with searching for God’s voice. You’ve heard it before, so you know it’s there.
An important thing to bear in mind is that our God desires to commune and fellowship with us. In 1 Corinthians 1:9, Paul writes that He “has invited you into partnership (fellowship) with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Fellowship involves a great deal more than occasional or sporadic communication. In this technological age, when it’s so much easier to maintain and nurture long distance friendships because of the capacity to keep in closer touch beyond the occasional phone call, consider the many options we’ve also been given to nurture our relationship with God.
If the love of your life lived somewhere else for a time, you would certainly utilize every platform possible to keep in touch and to fellowship with them. You would email and text regularly, set times for intimate phone calls so that you might exchange little details about one another’s daily lives, perhaps even chat with hope about that coming day when you’ll be reunited at last.
How much more diligent can we be about listening, praying, reading His Word, and pushing through the noise to find that still, small voice within us that seeks a conversation? His desire is to share an intimate fellowship with each of us…even in the winter of our relationship with Him, when we have to haul out the shovel to find it.

When listening, reading, or even praying doesn’t clear the path to God’s voice, keep digging. It’s there, beyond the noise.


Ane Mulligan said...

I love how you tied that together, Sandie. I need to slow down more and listen. Thanks for the reminder. :)