Attention

 

Woman talking through a megaphone and a man plugging his earsIf I’m in a big room and it’s loud and a bit chaotic and I want to get everyone’s attention, I can yell or whistle and people will often get quiet. It doesn’t do much good to make an announcement to a room full of people who aren’t paying attention.

The trumpet is a pretty loud horn instrument. If I’m anywhere a trumpet that is being played, it’s hard to ignore. It is like the bugle which was used by the US Calvary years ago to signal the troops to charge or retreat.

John is watching and trying to keep all of this written down as to what is happening in this beautiful, unique place he’s in. He is watching as the Lamb opens the seventh seal. Check this out…

1 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand in the presence of God; seven trumpets were given to them. (Revelation 8:1-2 CSB)

I can see something big coming. Trumpets are not quiet. I also enjoy silence sometimes. The contrast between silence and a trumpet is several decibels.

The Lord wants the attention of His people. He will do whatever it takes to get our attention. I’m committed to giving the Lord my attention in the quietness of the morning. I love hearing from Him. He doesn’t always whisper, but I feel like His Spirit speaks to me about my day coming up. He directs my steps and gives me insight to make sound decisions. I don’t want Him to ever need to shout for my attention – although He is capable of that for sure.

Come & Listen – David Crowder

Come and listen, come to the water’s edge, all you who know and fear the Lord.
Come and listen, come to the water’s edge all you who are thirsty, come.

Let me tell you what He has done for me.
He has done for you,
He has done for us.

Come and listen,
Come and listen to what He’s done.

Praise our God for He is good.

He has done for me,
He has done for you,
He has done for us.

Come and listen,
Come and listen to what He’s done.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

 

Attention Deficit – Listen

Young woman with big funny earsIn our culture we have seen lots of information about ADHD, which stands for “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”. This disorder is described as “poor concentration, hyperactivity and impulsivity”. It is not just a childhood issue according to most medical experts. I don’t claim to be any sort of expert on this particular disorder diagnosis. I have been around hyper people. I have been around people who don’t listen well. I’ve been around people who are quite impulsive too.

I think that there is a “spiritual form” of ADHD. We get so busy and focused on doing the things we want to do when we want to do them and we stop listening to the Lord as He tries to lead us and direct out path. It’s been a problem for us since we were created. Jeremiah is calling out the people of Judah and Israel for their “attention deficit” with the Lords directions and commands. Check this out….

3 For twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day—the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened.

4 And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention. (Jeremiah 25:3-4 NIV)

 

When I read that I can hear the “therefore” coming. Because they didn’t listen the Lord is about to discipline them. He allows them to be taken captive by another nation for 75 years.

As I look at my heart, I realize that I have “Spiritual ADHD”. I don’t always listen carefully when the Lord speaks. Sometimes the noise of my environment is so loud, it’s drowning out the voice of the Lord. There are also times that I’m so consumed with what I like and what I want that I ignore the Lord telling me what I need. I need take time to sit in the presence of the Lord with His Word and listen as He speaks truth into my life. I need to listen as He speaks directives into my schedule today. He is speaking and I need to stop what I’m doing and focus on what He’s saying to me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Listen Carefully

Listen Vs. Ignore - Toggle SwitchI have worked for several years at becoming a good listener. I believe listening is a skill that can be learned. I’m reminded that the Lord gave me two ears and one mouth so that I should listen twice as much as I speak. Often when I should be listening, I’m preparing an eloquent or timely response. I really need to simply listen carefully prior to responding. I love this passage in Jeremiah where the Lord speaks and Jeremiah acts upon the Lord’s direction to him. Check this out….

This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not let it touch water.” So I bought a belt, as the Lord directed, and put it around my waist.

3 Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: 4 “Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath[ and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks.” 5 So I went and hid it at Perath, as the Lord told me.

6 Many days later the Lord said to me, “Go now to Perath and get the belt I told you to hide there.” 7 So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless.

10 These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt—completely useless! 11 For as a belt is bound around the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to me,’ declares the Lord, ‘to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.’ (Jeremiah 13:1-7;10-11 NIV)

 

I believe that the Lord still speaks and directs my path today. I believe that He speaks and prompts acts of kindness and teachable moments into my life all the time. My role is to tune in and listen for His voice. I believe He also speaks through His Word right into my life. I would be wise to listen carefully to each passage to hear just what His Spirit wants to speak into my life.

I want to have the courage to listen and act upon whatever He speaks into my life. Whether it means giving, listening, taking a detour, whatever – I want to have the courage to listen and obey.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Hot & Cold

cold and hot glossy button set isolated over blackI loved playing this game as a kid. One kid would leave the room and the teacher and all of us would decide what we wanted them to touch or pick-up. We would all be yelling “Hot or Cold”. We would sometimes let them know that they were closing in by yelling “warmer”. It was a fun game. I added a variation once and chose about 5 of the 30 kids playing to yell the opposite instruction. It caused lots of confusion and chaos.  The culture I live in sends all sorts of instructions my way about what is the right thing to do and the wrong thing to do. This morning I heard from the words of Jesus on this subject.  Check this out….

15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. (Revelation 3:15-19 NIV)

 

I am going to use the Word of God and the Whispers of God as my instructions on how to live, love and serve. I hear lots of suggestions, but I’m going to stick with what I know in His Word as well as what I’ve experienced.  I believe that the Lord will keep speaking instruction into my life through His Word if I will study His Word. He is always ready to speak into me –It’s like He’s waiting on me to sit down and listen to Him.

I love the picture of Him knocking on the door of my heart wanting to come in for a visit. I want to be a person who listens for the knock of God on the door of my heart. I want to keep listening for Him to prompt me to serve Him wherever and whenever.

Pressing On!
Dwayne