(I'll be adding more from time to time.)
His still, small voice
I heard a joke once that went something like this: .A man was trapped in his home by rising flood waters. To escape the rising water, he climbed up onto the roof of his house. After getting up on the roof, he prayed, "O Lord, save me from these waters. I know that You will save me because I have absolute faith that You will be merciful to me, and answer my prayer." Shortly after that, a man in a rowboat floated up and said, "Get in and I'll take you to safety." The man on the roof replied, "Thanks, but no thanks. I'm waiting for the Lord to save me." The man in the rowboat left, and the waters kept rising until they were up to the man's thighs. Then, a powerboat pulled up and the man in it said, "Get in and I'll take you to safety." Again the man on the roof said, "Thanks, but no thanks. I'm waiting for the Lord to save me." So the powerboat left, and the waters continued to rise until they were up to the man's neck. Soon a helicopter came by and dropped a line down to the man. The rescuers shouted, "Grab the line and we'll take you to safety." But, as before, the man answered, "Thanks, but no thanks. I'm waiting for the Lord to save me." Well, the waters continued to rise and the man drowned. When he got to heaven, he asked to speak to the Lord. Standing before the throne he said, "Lord, I had complete faith that You would save me. Why didn't You?" The Lord replied, "I sent two boats and a helicopter! What more do you want?"
How many of us at some point have been guilty of asking the Lord for something, either help, or guidance, or answers, and then sat around waiting for some incredible sign from heaven? Yes, the Lord has spoken from burning bushes, and with the voice of thunder, or through panoramic visions, but the majority of the time He will answer us through more common and natural means. We shouldn't become so intent upon listening for the thunder that we forget to listen for His still, small voice. Otherwise, we might just miss something He's trying to tell us or show us. So the next time you pray to the Lord for something, instead of waiting for a trumpet blast, listen for His still, small voice. Don't worry. If He decides to speak with the voice of thunder instead, I promise you won't miss it! *grin*
1 Kings 19:11-12
"11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."
Make a joyful noise
Once in a while, in church, I'll look around during the worship and hymns and notice how many people aren't singing. They may be holding a hymnal, but nothing is coming out of their mouths, and I can't help but wonder, "Why not?" I'm sure some of the excuses are: "I'm not a very good singer. I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket!" "I'm a little shy about singing around other people." "I'm afraid someone might not like the way I sing." "I don't know this song." And I'm sure there are plenty of others as well. Then I wonder if, when these people are standing in the congregation before the throne of God, will they still be silent as the people around them sing? If asked, I'm sure they would say, "No, of course not! I'll be in front of God then! I'll be singing louder than anyone else there!" Well guess what? When you're standing silently in church listening to everyone else sing, you're standing in front of God then, too! Christ said in Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." So if you're going to sing in heaven, you might as well start here.
I know that a lot of people are uncomfortable with their singing ability (or lack of it). I'm not completely comfortable singing around other people myself. But I remind myself that I'm not singing for them or for their approval. I'm singing to the Lord. I'm singing His praises. And He's already told me, through His word, the Bible, that He doesn't care what I sound like. Consider this: the psalmist tells us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. He doesn't say to make a joyful melody in 4/4 time and three-part harmony to the Lord. As long as you are praising Him, He doesn't care what you sound like. And if the Lord of all creation doesn't mind some loud, off-key praising, I wouldn't be too worried about what my neighbors think about it either.
Psalm 98:4, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise."
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