I’ve had to accept the fact that as I get older, my hearing grows more dull. Oh, I’m not deaf. Occasionally, I have surprisingly keen hearing, that is, unless there is background noise. Deafness isn’t the issue. Discernment is. Even when the voice belongs to my wife or one of my children, background noise like the hum of a car engine or background music in a restaurant can interfere with my discernment. Oh, I know they’re talking. I just can’t understand what they’re saying. Sometimes we can’t do away with the background noise; so we’ve decided to help the focus with a touch to assure we’re always looking AT each other when we talk in those environments.
But you know, we can develop the same problem spiritually. Our spiritual ears can get dull and the background noises of our lives begin to drown out what God desires to teach us through His word and our experiences. Even within the Church, many professing Christians have a surprising unfamiliarity with scripture. Oh, we might have our favorite verses. But even those are more about “what they mean to me” rather what they have done to transform me into what God wants me to be. The PRIMARY means by which God communicates with us has become more like an IV bag that rehydrates us when we have problems. But we don’t drink deeply from it day to day.
What’s happened? Have we become too busy with politics and sports, television and computers, social networking and outdoor life that we don’t have time for God’s word? Nothing wrong with any of those things UNTIL they begin to crowd out our desire to be transformed by the power of God’s word. When that happens, our spiritual ears become dull and the “noise” of all those other things affects our ability to discern what God is doing around us and saying to us.
Jared Wilson writes in the Threadway study Abide , “. . . the messages of the environments we’re most in and the routines we most practice shape our attitudes and behaviors.” Did you get that? Where and how you spend your time will shape the way you think and act.
Now think about this! The Bible, God’s word, was not given to help us. It was given to transform us. If we truly want to change the world, then we must begin by allowing God’s word to change us. The more time we spend there, the more it will shape the way we think and act. But in order to do that, it might require that we turn off some the background noise that has drowned out the voice of God.
What could you given up or what could you change in order to spend some quality time reading the Bible each day? Try it for 30 days! Don’t read it in order to “learn” something. Just pray and ask God to use your reading of His word to transform your life. He won’t disappoint you.