Saturday, June 26, 2010

Limited Connectivity

Have you ever had this error message on your computer? This is a regular occurrence around our home. For some strange reason if two people try to access the Internet at the same time, the router bumps us off. We know this is happening when we see the yellow triangle with an exclamation point positioned over the Internet access icon on the bottom of the screen. Though it states we have access, that access is limited and in truth, we don’t really have the kind of connection that allows for browsing the net.

As I was pondering my dilemma, I recognized the parallel between this situation and the spiritual life. We are guaranteed access by to God by faith in Christ (Romans 5:1-2). Nothing can change this connection to the Lord. It was purchased for us by the very blood of Jesus, who died for our sins on the cross. However there are times when a problem of connecting to God occurs on our end. And what can affect that communication? First, sin hampers our relationship with God so that we fail to hear him. Our spiritual senses become dull and we choose not to walk in His ways. We don’t log on to Christ and live by His power. If there’s no spiritual power, the connection fades and the signal becomes weak. Second, we fail to personally apply our faith in the Lord’s promises. At times, I become keenly aware of my inadequacies and my short-comings. I begin to question myself and fail to trust in God’s plan for my life. Recently, I struggled with feelings of inadequacy and I became discouraged and disheartened. I couldn’t find the words to communicate my feelings to the Lord. It was as if my connection was failing. I needed to be reminded of the words of Jesus who said, “I will never leave nor forsake you.” And again the words of Paul “For he who has begun a good work in us will bring it to completion…”. For those who feel discouragement, hold on to God’s very precious promises. God’s purpose and plan for your life will not fail.

One solution to the problem of limited connectivity is rebooting the router, modem, and computer. It works in the spiritual life too. Take a morning or a day off; get away on a date with the Lord and spend time in communion with him, away from distractions to read and to pray. Stay on your retreat until you make a breakthrough and you can really find the words to communicate and to listen. Yes, listening is an important part of connecting with God. Turn off the radio, cell phone, TV, iPod, CD player, computer, and other peripheral devices; use that time on the knees with God. Our generation is addicted to noise. Take this simple test to determine if you have a noise addiction. When you start your car in the morning and prepare to leave your driveway for work do you reach for the radio and turn it on? Try driving without any noise whatsoever in the car for one week. Can you stand being alone with yourself? Now take that time normally spent listening to the radio and use it to touch the face of God. Moses communicated with God face to face as a man talks with a friend. When he spent time with the Lord, his face glowed with the radiance of standing before the Holy One. He wore a veil to cover this glory and perhaps to cover his own shame as that glow began to fade over time. Perhaps it is this shame prevents us from connecting with God so we reach for noise to fill the space. The ancients often practiced the discipline of solitude as a way to commune with the Lord. How long has it been since you spent real time with the Lord, just listening for a change? The spirit within us desires more than five minutes of time with God. It craves for spiritual food and drink which only comes through spiritual connection. Don’t settle for limited connectivity.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Class in session

While the kids are out of school, I'm back in - a week of intensives, exams and presentations. And fantastic devotional sessions. There are times when one feels "will I make it?" The answer from heaven is "with my power you can". Just as Caleb asked for the mountain to conquer it at the age of 80+ years old, and Abraham entered the promised land as a senior citizen, so and I with God's help.