Prayer: Father, thank you for your love. Thank you for caring deeply about us and pursuing us. We confess that we are often distracted by the things of the world. Help us to quiet the noise of the world around us and focus on you. Draw near to us as we draw near to you. Amen.
A Quiet Place
When I speak to people who are struggling to find intimacy with the Lord, there are common themes that come up time and time again. Our culture of activity and work has taken over, and the first things that slip away are silence and solitude. We often feel tired in the midst of our busy lives without an end in sight, yet we forget how Jesus modeled finding peace and rest in the midst of the hurry.
We see Jesus withdrew to a quiet place nine times in the gospel of Luke. And in many cases, we're told that Jesus frequently withdrew to a desolate place, that it was a normal part of His life. This practice was not just in His free time when He had a couple of minutes to spare and decided He might as well pray until the next event on His schedule. It was in the midst of the busiest parts of His life when thousands of people were searching for Him or after a full day of teaching and performing miracles. Jesus knew that our flesh is weak, so He modeled a life prioritizing quiet time alone with our God, who gives us strength.
When we start to complain that God is not speaking to us and has been quiet, it begs the question: has God really been the one who is quiet, or have we let the noise of the world prevent us from hearing? In 1 Kings 19, God speaks to Elijah with a quiet whisper. Have we silenced the noise of our lives and drawn near to God to hear His voice? God wants to speak to us and He wants us to rest in His love. Start small, and plan a regular time to withdraw from the noise and be quiet with the Lord. No phone, no TV, no background music, just you and the Lord. He just might meet you with the same quiet whisper.
Look in the Word:
Read Luke 5:12-16. How does Jesus respond to His increasing popularity among the crowds? Why?
In 1 Kings 19, what is the significance of God being found in the small whisper instead of the wind, earthquake, and fire?
Be proactive in scheduling a regular time alone with the Lord in silence. Embrace the unexpected silence as well, drive in silence and pray instead of listening to music, be with the Lord instead of picking up your phone when you are bored.
Do not pick up your phone or turn on a screen in the morning until after you have spent time alone with God. Start your day being filled up by the Lord instead of by the distractions of the world.