Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
My friend, may I ask you a question today? When God sends his Holy Spirit into our hearts to guide us does he enter with a brass band or bold presence? If the Spirit tends to be quiet, soft and often hard to detect, how easy is it to miss his guidance when we’re always moving about in our lives, never pausing to listen to his still small voice?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
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There are many species of birds living in and around Beech Springs. The large ones like birds of prey and crows lend themselves to visibility and identification by their very size and volume of their calls; whereas the smaller birds are more problematic to identify. These you need to seek, primarily by their song or call. For example, at this time of the year we will normally hear Cedar Waxwings flitting about the tops of the many Beech trees here in the valley. Their meek, whistled calls attract your attention, and looking up to watch for movement in the treetops will often reveal them. There are, however, other species of birds that are far more difficult to detect either by sight or sound. These are the small birds like the Grasshopper Sparrow that are both difficult to see as their habit is to stay close to the ground, hidden in the tall field grass, and hard to hear since their thin, high-pitched song is at a frequency so high it’s almost impossible to hear unless you’re specifically listening for it. These drab, small birds can be detected only by wading into their habitat, pausing, and listening for their thin, whistled trill. If you fail to pause, however, and continue to brush through the tall grasses, the simple crunch and swish of the grasses against your clothing will mask the calls. It is easy to overlook them if you aren’t tuned into both their habitat and their soft songs from the first.
When God sends his Holy Spirit into our hearts to guide us and assist us he doesn’t enter like a bird of prey or a noisy crow. The Spirit tends to be quiet, soft and often hard to detect, similar to the Grasshopper Sparrow. It’s easy to miss his guidance when we’re always moving about in our lives, never pausing or waiting to listen for his still small voice.
Here’s a thought from G. Campbell Morgan. Waiting for God is not laziness. “Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given.” (G. Campbell Morgan)
Perhaps one of the hardest lessons for a Christian to learn in life is waiting and listening. We tend to want to cultivate a faith that reacts, moves around, and does, as opposed to is. There is, of course, a time and a place for this, but only after we’ve prayerfully waded into the environment of God’s Holy Spirit and paused long enough to listen for his plaintive song of encouragement and instruction. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:19: “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.” We are guilty of smothering the Spirit’s voice in our lives when, especially in crisis, we push ahead trying to find God amidst the ruins of our lives. God designed his Spirit to be there whatever the circumstances as long as we’re willing to stop, look and listen for his calling. He will keep calling even when we keep moving, but there may come a time when, so grieved by our inattention, his call is quenched. Doing nothing until God commands us to do something helps us to identify the will of the Spirit in our lives. Treating the Spirit like a crow and not the sparrow he is may lead to foolish spiritual wandering.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for your gift of the Holy Spirit without whom we would be lost in spiritual wandering for the rest of our lives. Forgive us, Lord, when we quench the Spirit by never stopping long enough to listen for his voice in our lives. Help us to be faithful listeners so that we might be bold disciples, able to do what you have purposed us to do guided by your indwelling Spirit. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day.
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