As I sat in a prayer room before the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord said to me “Being formed in the Lord Jesus Christ is greater than being formed by the promises of the world”.
The promises of the world of ambition, wealth and fame are empty and will never substitute the promises of God which are eternal. In God we will never fall short of his yardstick which is measure based on our simple faithfulness to prayer, being still before Him, the reading of His Word and abiding by the sacraments of the church.
We are all faithful to our secular jobs and to our family. But when it comes to God, few of us measure up to meet Him in the cool breeze of the evening.
In the prayer room the Lord said “My children always come in to pour out their problems or ask for a favour, but very few people come to converse with me. I desire to converse with them so that I can pour out my love on them. But the chatter of this world is too loud for them to hear me and they miss out on the many messages that I want to give them”.
Not only does the Lord want His children to sacrifice their time, he desires an intimate and a loving relationship. His unconditional love waits for us patiently, and all he wants to do is love us. But very too often we tend to shut him out and we do not allow ourselves to hear Him.
God is no respecter of persons and does not have favourites (Rom 2:11), whether you are a Bishop or a humble warden. He wants to channel more of his love through you, so that you become a beacon of love and hope. God is not into the big things you do for him, whether you are a preacher, a teacher or a humble servant mopping up the floor. He desires to be intimate with you.
The question we need to ask ourselves. Do we take the time to wait at His feet and hear His voice daily?
One of the greatest things we can do in this age of the twenty first century of satellite TV, internet, mobile phones, Starbucks, is to wait at the feet of the Lord and say “Speak Lord for your servant is listening”. Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27). He desires that His children hear His voice daily, not occasionally.
We need to daily set aside time to hear His voice. More often than not when we are with Him, we are too busy telling God about our problems. We don’t hear what He has to say. It’s like when we are conversing with someone who is a chatterbox and trying to get a word in. Try and picture this, God waiting patiently for His turn to speak.
God already knows your problem; He does not need a reminder, but a listening ear. A solution will surface or He will remind you that Jesus will walk with you. As you develop the habit of waiting before Him, His love will melt your heart like butter tenderizing it towards Him, making you a vessel of love for Him.
Why Difficult to Hear the Voice of God
One of the reasons why we find it difficult to hear the voice of the Lord, is because we have too many noises and voices in our head. One of the common noises we are accustomed to is the Idiot box and daily it speaks to us saying “Come and watch me and relax, chill, I am more interesting. I will tell you what is happening in the world, Hey! this is more exciting, after this there is a great movie on HBO, and remember the football game on ESPN”.
This was one of my addictions until I had the idiot disconnected.
Another noise in our head is our daily “thoughts” which is generally focused on work, the family or hobbies. We are consumed with these thoughts “What am I to do next” “Finish this assignment”, “Send the children for piano lessons” or that “Problem I need to solve”. We allow these thoughts to bog us down. By the end of the day we find very little time to meet our Creator in the most secret place, because we have allowed ourselves to be distracted by the little things of life.
Tools used to prevent us from discovering the Prize Treasure
These are some of the tools used by the enemy to preoccupy us and prevent us from discovering the prize treasure of listening to His voice. For if we discovered this treasure, we would be transformed beyond our human imagination, into a living relationship with the Most High God.
Satan, God’s enemy, although he does not have a form, is very much real. For centuries our enemy has been convincing us about economic chaos, war, murder, rape, retrenchment, divorce and he makes it sound so normal. He has made us think, that this is part of life and we should expect it. However, for God this is not His plan for us. His plan for us is economic prosperity, peace, life, protection, employment and marital bliss.
The enemy’s primary purpose is to distract us from hearing the voice of God. He says “Can you really hear the Lord, the Son of the Living God”, “You must be joking, He is not real, come and listen to my fear and anxiety messages and hopefully you will be panic stricken”.”Listen to the exciting noises and panorama I have created in this world”. “Don’t listen to God, He is boring”. Most people are clueless as to what he is up to and even has a field day with mature Christians like myself, who have been walking with God for years. That is why one of his titles is the father of lies. (John 8:44).
The Remedy is to be Still before the Lord
Another noise in our head, is our addictions screaming for attention. This is the worst kind of noise because it puts us into bondage, which heaps guilt in our lives and this is a sure “Killer” to listening to the voice of God.
In the old testament book of Daniel 1:8, Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine and preferred to eat vegetables and water. The advantage of this practice was the wisdom and understanding that was given to Daniel by God, followed by the ability to be able interpret dreams which saved his very life along with his friends.
To Defile yourself Today
To defile yourself in today’s world is to be corrupted by the world’s propaganda. The world of television, DVD, movies, pornography, smoking, drinking, gambling, drugs, gossip or any other kind of addiction corrupts us. Nobody is saying don’t watch television, movies or drink, but do so in moderation. The yardstick is “Can I do without it for a period of time or am I addicted?”.
Addiction’s fills our bodies to the point that our temple is corrupted and makes us impure (1 Cor 6-19). Our bodies are filled with corruption of the world, and leaves little room for God to come in. This is a victory for satan, because he has gained more territory in us. After all he is the god of this world. (1 Cor 4:4).
So when we are so full of the not so nice things of the world and under the influence of the enemy, how can we fully hear Gods voice? Our thoughts will be confused and more focused on our addictions, “When can I see that naked girl again or I need a smoke or I need a drink or Genting Highland (Malaysia’s biggest gambling den) is calling or I need my next fix or I need to gossip about somebody. With all these noises wedged in our heads we find we are unable to concentrate on the things of God, like at the Mass, reading the Bible, praying or the service He is calling us to do.
Addictions can be broken
These addictions are not easy to break, but not impossible. An addiction can be broken if a person so desires with all his heart and makes it a point to come before the Lord Jesus. And by the power of the Holy Spirit that addiction will be broken. The enemy’s tool is to fill our minds with unworthiness because of the addictions and put us on a guilt trip. We end up thinking it is a waste our time talking to God, He won’t speak to me because of my sin.
However forgiveness is at the door where Jesus stands, if you would just open the door to the real thing. Thanks be to God that Jesus only looked for sinners. So we are on the right track, but this does not mean that we should continue to fall into this kind sin. A measure of protection is to find a mature Christian who can counsel and pray to break the addiction. At this point the journey can sometimes be long and tedious.
What happens when we keep on committing the same sin all over again, what is the remedy then? The answer is to look for Jesus in the Mass, in the Blessed Sacrament, in a retreat, in a prayer meeting, in the Word of God or where ever His name is being proclaimed. Be a God chaser and a God pleaser. It is not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord (Zech 4:6).
We need to create a place of tranquillity in our minds where God can come in. This starts with the practice of being still before God (Psalm 37:7) and reading the
As God comes in, the World will go out
This is the only thing that will push the corruption out. As God comes in, the world will go out. It is important that we ask God for His strength. “Come to me all who weary and heavy burden and I will give you rest”. (Matt 11:28).
For those Charismatic’s like myself, praise and worship is a good way to focus on God. The intensity of your praise is important so that you can receive the most benefit from the worship session. Sing, dance and worship with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30) and you will see the result of an intense encounter with God. The more you put into the relationship, the more you will get out. The more you draw close to God, the more God will draw close to you (James 4:8).
One of the traditions of the Catholic Church is to be before the Blessed Sacrament in adoration, it is at these times you can hear the voice of God, because Jesus is present there. I personally have experienced the love and grace of God many times at the Blessed Sacrament. For years now, this has always been my wife Constance’s place of refuge in her times of distress or when she needs to storm the gates of Heaven for somebody. She always says, the breakthroughs of life are before the Blessed Sacrament.
Father VA Michael, a charismatic priest at one of his seminar’s, said that praise and worship is not the greatest form of prayer, being before the Blessed Sacrament is more important. I agree with him. Praising and worshiping God and allowing the
Spirit of God to fall upon us like Pentecost is great, but it must be followed by a time of quietness before the Lord to hear what God has in store for us.
More often than not the time of quietness before the Lord at a worship session is too brief and cannot compare to the time spent before the Blessed Sacrament.
Worshippers leave with a powerful encounter with the Living God, but that encounter should move the worshipper to the next level of a personal relationship with Him
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