A radical life to joy

For those of you who may not have noticed, I did not post a Wednesday or Friday blog last week.  I had a lesson to learn before I could write again.  God has never allowed me to teach what I have not learned through experience and most often the lesson is taught from a failure turned into a victory.

I was doing a really stupid thing.  Actually I do the same stupid thing every day.  I ride my bike with earphones blaring praise music.  What makes it stupid is that I can’t hear approaching cars or other hidden dangers.  I am smart enough to slow down at intersections and look both ways.  But last week I learned that isn’t being smart enough to avoid serious harm.

I was pumping along in beat with my favorite Revival in Belfast on my ipod.  I slowed at the intersection as usual.  But due to some overgrown shrubbery, I couldn’t see the truck.  Because of my earphones I didn’t hear it either.  The truck had the right-a-way and considerable speed.  Let’s just say, my reflexes were tested and thankfully they responded well for their age.  The shock gave me an unexpected boost to my heart rate.  I am sure the truck driver wasn’t happy for her sudden surge of adrenaline.

Now you would think I would learn the lesson and remove the earphones or at least head home for the day.  Nope.  I kept right on with my route but with a new prayer in my heart.  After a season of thanksgiving and praise, I began to ponder:

What if we lived our Christian walk wearing earphones hearing only the voice of God and drowning out all other lies?  Could we trust Him to alert us to dangers, guide us on the right paths, and get us where we need to be…safe and sound?  What would it be like to live so totally immersed in Him that we heard or thought of nothing but Him?

This made me think of my paranoid, pessimist, and perfectionist friend who visits with me on my porch.  She, like so many of believers, can’t find joy in her life.  But what if God gave her His earphones?  Would she trust Him enough to wear them?  Would I?

Last time, I asked my friend if she wanted to get well?  If we want to be well, we have to wear the earphones.  God’s voice must be the only voice in our head.   Is that possible?  How?

I conclude that most believers want to be well.  We want the full and abundant life promised in His Word.  We know the answer is having an intimate personal relationship with the Lord through a powerful and passionate prayer life.  Plus we know we must study His Word and do what it says.  We understand that we have to surrender to His Spirit and yield to His strength in order to be victorious.  We are convinced that without Him we can do nothing.  We strive to be obedient and please Him.  Yet, our lives are most often characterized as a roller coaster of victories and defeats.  The up-and-down seasons can be minute-by-minute, day-to-day, or last for weeks.   Our struggle is not in the desire but in the consistency of the walk.

I had another epiphany last week.  I was at the Southern Baptist National Convention and Crossover meeting.  I must admit I was tired and distracted.  I wanted to be anywhere but there.  Don’t judge me too harshly; I am certain you have felt that way at some point.  During the prayer time, we were called to a season of repentance.  It was during that time where the Spirit spoke to my heart.  I saw a quick review of my week and the moments I was most agitated.

I was worried about Eli having stomach issues.  I was stressed that the prayer booklet I wrote was about to have 8,000 copies printed and would soon be in the hands of Southern Baptist from across the country.  I had deadlines that were smothering me.  People were not living up to their commitments.    I didn’t have answers when I needed them.

In each moment, He showed me what would have calmed the agitation. He was there to help but I had I not heard Him.   I had taken off His earphones.  I tried going it on my own and I failed.

The root cause of our roller coaster plunges is that we are prone to attempt a moment of life without Him.

I have an idea.  Would anyone else like to take this challenge with me?

I am going to wear earphones this week, and the next, or for as long as it may take me to learn to live immersed in His voice.  When possible I will have praise music playing.  (Is it possible to get the Bible on ipod?)  The rest of the time I will simply leave them on my ears as a reminder that I must be living in tune to God’s voice.

I may look like a fool.  I may sound like a radical.  Could God want us to standout and go the limit with Him?  Could my inconsistency and self-preservation be the reason victory is evasive?  One way to find out.

I know that hours each day hearing His Word and singing praises can guide me to greater heights of His glory.

Christian, could we find our joy in His Word and in His Worship?

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