Kent Russ sent me this quote from a church in France which is contained on signs inside a number of sanctuaries in that European country. It reads:
It is possible that on entering this church you may hear a call from God. On the other hand, it is highly unlikely that he will contact you by phone. Thank you for turning off your telephone.
I love the optimistic and expectant attitude of this sarcastic public statement. I appreciate the recognition of the fact that while we are in God’s house there is always the possibility that He could speak to us and our job is to be open and receptive to His message, whether it’s contained within the music, scripture, prayer or maybe even in the sermon. Believers approach their times of worship with a sense of expectation regardless of location. In other words, if we have a meeting with our Maker whether it’s in a humble church house or in a majestic cathedral or even on a mountainside or on a secluded beach, God has a word for you and He asks you and He asks me to respond.
I’ve noticed that I get kind of antsy when I send a text or e-mail and don’t receive a response. I wonder if the victims of my messages understood my intent or if maybe I somehow offended them. God sends his messages to us at all times and he doesn’t wonder if they were received….He’s God! But it would be good if we acknowledged our reception of His correspondence. Isaiah responded to God’s call with …. “Here am I. Send me!” And Moses responded with, “Here am I. Send someone else” and the important facet of both responses is that they acknowledged God was speaking to them and they had a choice to make.
The cynical signs in those French churches offer the solution to the problem of not hearing the call of God. The remedy is found in turning off the phone. In our harried and hurried culture today we would do well to cut off more than our phones but that’s a start. It would do us good if we Christians would talk less and listen more. One of my seminary professors put it this way. It’s not that God doesn’t speak to His people anymore, it’s just that we’ve lost the ability to listen.
What is God telling you when you cut the phone off or when you allow you racing mind to slow down or during those times when you are away from it all? Will you acknowledge Him and respond?
Our kids and counselors are away from it all at Caswell this week. Pray that they will hear God and follow through on His instructions.