“Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening…” I Samuel 3:4 (NIV)
After my wife underwent heart surgery we explored the feasibility of acquiring a cell phone. We selected several to test their reception in several areas of town. Further, we talked to several friends that had cell phones and purchased one of the phones that they recommended. We looked forward to using it as we traveled across the country on our vacations, confident that we would never be out of potential touch with 911 or other emergency numbers.
Imagine our consternation when we used it on our first extended journey and all we were able to receive was static. At first we thought that something had happened to our cell phone but more experienced cell phone veterans explained that clarity of the reception is directly related to the existing terrain and the distance from the cell phone towers. The farther one is away from the power source the weaker the signal and therefore the more jumbled it becomes and harder to hear.
As we considered this information it’s similarity to spiritual discernment becomes obvious. If one truly wants to receive God’s message through the Holy Spirit, one must maintain a close relation ship with Him, the source of power.
How can we be assured that we are close enough to hear God’s word? First one must remove any “static-causing” elements in his/her life. Sin and disobedience are the primary sources of transmission interference, inasmuch as they divert our attention away from God. We need not only recognize those elements in our life but also to ask for forgiveness so we can more effectively hear His voice.
The more time one spends in prayer, Bible study, and worship the easier it will be to distinguish the messages of the Holy Spirit from the chaos of the world around us. Listen for the Spirit. Do you hear the voice of God or static?