13th October 2020
'...is vital to understanding...'
11b 'Then a great and powerful wind
tore the mountains apart
and shattered the rocks 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.
12 After the earthquake came a fire,
but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a gentle whisper.'
1 Kings 19:11b-12
Good communication is vital
to understanding and good relationships.
Communication involves both the verbal
and the non-verbal.
When I visit my daughter in Germany,
I often resort to hand gestures
and pointing to supplement
the very little German I know.
We might not speak the same language
as the person you are communicating with,
but we can still make ourselves understood,
as anyone who has travelled
to a non-English speaking country will know;
it is possible to get your point across
without using words.
Of course, the reverse is also true.
We might speak the same language
as someone else
but be on a completely different wavelength -
how much confusion is caused by this!!
It is important to get our communication right -
otherwise we will experience
all kinds of misunderstandings.
Every couple knows about the importance
of good communication.
when communication breaks down
in a relationship,
whether it is in a marriage,
among friends or between family members,
there are all sorts of problems.
We need to keep working
at our communication in order
to strengthen our different relationships.
They don't just take care of themselves.
If we take relationships for granted,
they will struggle to develop and grow.
If this is true of our human relationships,
is it also true of our relationship with God?
How important is communication
when it comes to our relationship with God?
I imagine most of us
will say it is very important.
But how hard do we work at it?
How many of us are able to say
that we are satisfied
with the quality of our communication with God?
It would seem to me that
it is much easier to take our
relationship with God for granted.
We might lose our friends
if we don't pay enough attention to them.
But we can't lose God, can we?
I mean, we confess faith
in a God who was
and who is and who is to come.
God by his very nature is eternal.
Even if we have ignored him
for years he is still there.
God is always on call, isn't he?
It's in his job description.
And because God is always there for us,
it is very easy for us not to bother
working at our relationship with him.
I think there are plenty of reasons
why this is the case,
but one of the main ones is that
it isn't so easy for us to relate to God.
Communicating with God is hard work.
How can we clearly hear what
he is saying to us and how can we receive
his guidance in our lives when it comes
to difficult choices that we have to make?
How does God capture our attention
in an age where we are dazzled with
visual marvels at every turn
and inundated with so much noise?
Are we expecting God to advertise
on a roadside hoardings,
emails or commercials on television?
Or is God expecting us to stop,
be quiet and strain our ears to hear
that still, small voice?
God wants to communicate with us;
he is not playing hard to get;
we just need to have ears to hear,
as Jesus so often said.
Our problem isn't
that it goes in one ear and out the other.
Our problem is that
it so often doesn't go in our ears at all.
We are just so busy,
when we really need to stop
and remember God's promise
"Be still and know that I am God"
God wants us to be on
the same wavelength as him
and to be involved in his bigger plan.
His communication through the still,
small voice got Elijah back on track
with God's plan for his life.
Today God wants us back on track
with his purpose for our lives.
We might be feeling a bit harassed in our life,
flitting from one thing to the next
and wondering when
it's all going to come crashing down.
Perhaps that makes now the perfect opportunity
for us to be still
and know that he is God.
He is the God of our lives,
the God of our future.
God is speaking to us.
Be still and listen to him.