Distractions. They are all around us. There is so much going on in our lives that it is hard to pause and seek God. So many things pull us away from our time with God. He wants to speak to us but sometimes it is so hard to hear Him above all the other noise.
Sometimes we expect Him to speak to us in amazing and unique ways. Sometimes He does. Most often He doesn’t. He speaks to us in midst of the chaos of our lives. He speaks quietly to our hearts. Pastor has been sharing with us about Elijah who didn’t hear God in the loud things but heard Him in a quiet whisper.
When Elijah paused to listen, God confirmed to him that he was not alone. His soul was restored. His belief was replenished. All because he paused to listen.
From the beginning of time God has wanted us to pause to listen to him. Adam and Eve heard it amongst the chaos they created. Even as sin entered the world the Bible says in Genesis chapter three "And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day..." God desires to walk among us and talk among us. It's more a question - not of how to hear God's voice, but will we hear Him? Will we say, "Yes, Lord!" and obey His command? Adam and Eve disobeyed the voice of God who told them not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the rest of verse 8 says, "Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden."
Still, God spoke. In the pause between sin entering the world and Adam and Eve being banished from paradise, God made a promise. The passage goes on to say, “Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live. And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.’”
He gave a promise. God would pause the chaos of the world by sending One who would change everything. A sacrifice. An atonement for the sins and distractions we let invade our lives. God was sending a redeemer.
Isaiah was in the midst of distractions. His country was in turmoil. His relative, the king of his country had just died. He had no idea where to turn. Then he paused. He came to the temple. He came searching for hope that the real redeemer of his country will come one day and rescue his people. He came to hear God’s voice. When Isaiah paused, he heard God. When he moved away from the distractions, he heard the voice of the Lord calling to him.
700 years passed and God’s people waited for the redeemer to come. When it was time, again, He spoke in the pauses people took. First it was to a young girl in a pause of her life, God revealed that she would bring the redeemer into the world.Next it was to shepherds on a hillside. Pausing in the night and surprised by God’s message appearing before them in the Heavens. Then the redeemer called out to fishermen pausing on the sea shore. Then a tax collector sitting at his money table. Then to a religious leader pausing in the darkness of the night in search of the promised redeemer. Then to a woman, pausing to get water from a well.
Then the redeemer spoke to death itself. In a pause of life for family and friends to mourn the loss of one they loved, the redeemer called out to death and said: “Lazarus come forth!” And in this pause, even death could not drown out the redeemer’s voice.
Then came more distractions. Jubilation in the streets turned into a crowd distracted by the agenda of powerful men. Voices began to cry out for the death of the redeemer. Sin’s voice was getting louder. Evil was louder than good. No one paused. In fact, it all happened very quickly. The arrest. The illegal trial. Then the voices calling out, “CRUCIFY HIM”!
One final pause came three days later when women mouth agape, found the tomb empty. The price for our sins had been paid. This pause meant that we now know that eternal life could be ours because death had be defeated.
As we approach Easter, I pray that we are all taking time to pause on what God has done in the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. May we all remember that He fulfilled the promise to the serpent and Christ overcame sin and death. May we pause and lay aside the distractions in our lives, to allow Him to speak to us in a quiet whisper.