Points to Ponder: Thus Saith The Lord: Can You Hear Me Now?
Points to Ponder
Thus Saith The Lord: Can You Hear Me Now?
What if we treated our Bibles with the same value and reverence as we do our cell phones? Rarely do you see a person without one, sometimes two, cell phones on their belts or in their purses. My cell phone is the church office phone, so I set it by my car keys nightly to insure I remember to take it with me when I go out.
Suppose we held our Bibles just as close as we go about our day? No matter where you go you could put your hands on the scriptures; in your car, at a restaurant, or in a waiting room, it's there. Now why would you want that? Well, is there ever a time when you find yourself in a situation where you wished you had a scripture to guide you? If not, why not?
So many folks say the Bible is the word of God, and yet it doesn't cross their minds that there is pertinent and powerful guidance available in its pages. Why is that?
Are you ever in a place, cell phone firmly attached to your person, and it rings? A lot of times it's a call you need to take - or you've been waiting for. But if you're in a meeting or some other circumstance where the call is an intrusion, you might silence it or ignore it. It does get your attention though; and your memory is now flagged with a mental sticky note to remember to check that message.
But if your Bible is as by-your-side as the cell phone, and you're in a meeting, would it "ring"? Would it signal you that there's an incoming message the Caller wants you to take...now? Wouldn't that be great?
You're in the middle of a business deal or a big purchase decision; or you're in a board meeting, or talking to your child's teacher, or in a tense discussion with a neighbor, wouldn't it be timely to have your Bible "go off" in your mind? That God would in effect be saying, "My child, I hear what's going on there. Here's a word for you." Wouldn't that be great? (Sort of a "Psalm Pilot.")
I read the testimony of a former P.O.W. who spent over five years in a North Vietnamese prison. Torture, cold, starvation, rats in his living quarters and insects boring into his open sores, the soldier credited his survival - and his sanity - to the library of scripture texts he had stored in his memory from church and Sunday School.
The pain, loneliness, hopelessness, and relentless mental distress of his experience was met with timely calls from Heaven. Scripture verses rang out in his mind, to assure Him of the Lord's presence.
"You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book? When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me" (Psalm 56:8-9).
These are not necessarily the verses that came to his mind then, but these are treasures which would be priceless, timely helps to anyone immersed in a troublesome, inescapable situation.
"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by" (Psalm 57:1).
This former P.O.W., reflecting back on those awful years, says that he wished he had studied more. Over the months and years, prisoners would dig into their memories, those early days of Sunday School lessons and worship hymns, to pull together Bible studies and worship services. They clung to these morsels for sustenance and hope.
Neither they nor their parents could have known what Sunday it would be when a nugget of scripture, a biblical truth, a teaching from Jesus would stick in the child's memory. And how could they know that years later and thousands of miles away it would be that vital, Spirit-inspired word that came as a mental text message and got them through some horrific experience. Are we so arrogant to believe that our sons and daughters won't themselves face a hell-on-earth some day?
We spend countless years teaching them how to handle a ball; then in the military, how to handle a gun. But what if the ball and the gun are taken away and evil has the field they're playing on? Will they be equipped?
Why do we place high priority and invest such devotion in transient things? It seemed appropriate and ironic that while Pope Benedict was in the U.S., he conducted a Mass in a baseball stadium; the glorious new temple in our nation's Capital where schools are failing and crime is rising.
If there had been conflicting schedules; the Mass and a ball game happened to be scheduled for the same day, which would have prevailed? And why?
It's not always the bad things that keep us from God. More often it's the numerous good things. Rather than appreciate them and keep them in their proper place as gifts, we worship them as gods and give them authority over how we live.
If you're in a tough spot and God wants to "text you", how would you receive the call? Would you even think to check the messages?
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).
Can you hear Me now?
Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship of Clear Spring, MD. These articles are also found at www.HilltopChristianFellowship.com.