I’m sitting here in my cozy living room, trying to enjoy my coffee and have devotions. The only trouble is, our normally tranquil street has construction going on. A developer bought a lot and is not building one, but four houses on it. The noise is seven days a week from seven am until dark. It was earlier than that, but my husband had a few words with the one who was showing up at the butt crack of dawn and four-wheeling on the empty lot. The backup beeper is the worst. IT IS NON-STOP. This morning I felt my frustration begin to boil. The construction noise is so distracting it drowns out the tv, music, and my thoughts. If I want NOT to hear the beeping, I have to blare the music.
While sipping my second cup of jo, I heard the Lord ask, “Can you hear my whispers in the midst of the noise?” Well, clearly, the answer was Yes, because I just heard His question. However, His whisper had some competition. But isn’t that how it is in this life? Jesus wants to say something, whisper something, sing over us, speak over us, breathe over us, and the noise of the world is drowning out His whispers. We want to tell our anxiety to hush and the fears to be silent. But they seem to keep backing up over our quiet time with the annoying BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! We want to turn the volume down of the chaos, confusion, turmoil, and turn His voice up. But the only way to turn a whisper up is to get close to the one who is speaking. Read that again
How do we silence the voice of the enemy? How do we quiet the world and hear only HIM? How do we maintain an awareness of our environment yet not be invaded by it? When a thousand things are lobbying for our attention, and getting alone doesn’t work, what do we do? If you have kids, they are pounding on the door. Pets barking or scratching, clients dinging your phone, and needs lobbying for your ears, and you just want to hear His voice direct you, love you, comfort you.
The Word is filled with moments of being still, standing still and waiting on Him. However, it doesn’t say that everything goes quiet when we are still or in a place of waiting. No, the calm that we are experiencing is internal. I was recently given an Apple Watch, and it has a “Breathe” app. I have it programmed to make me stop and focus on breathing and silent my thoughts or a racing heart. The thing is, when it dings, it isn’t always quiet when it’s time to practice my stillness. The tv could be blaring, the dogs barking, the tractor beeping. (freaking tractor) It is my job to focus on one thing, my breathing. And when I do that, the noise fades around me. My BPM goes down, and I can physically see in numbers what focusing on my own breath can do. So just imagine what can happen when we take this same practice and stop for a moment and focus on the breath of God; His very Whispers.
In reading Luke 4, we see that Jesus was just baptized by John the Baptist, the sky split open, and the Holy Spirit landed on His shoulder like a dove. This magic moment was then turned into Jesus, full of The Holy Spirit, going to the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days, only to be chased by the devil himself.
How did Jesus do it? He left everyone behind. He was alone in the wilderness, or thought to be alone… and satan followed Him, hunting Him down and harassing our precious Savior for 40 long days. One month and ten days or Five weeks and five days of seeking God's face and 40 days of the enemy’s interruptive, distracting, attention-grabbing BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. Noise, accusation, lies, offers, and temptations hurled at the ears of Jesus. Satan even goes as far as to quote the word of God. The noise sounded true, even if it was a liar speaking it. (That’s a good point; I could use an amen there.) Fatigued, hungry, harassed, and let’s not forget walking in a wilderness; so how did Jesus do it? Let’s go back to the very beginning of this chapter. “Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,” Luke 4:1
He was full of the Spirit and led by the Spirit. Amid the noise, the lying lizard, the hunger, the rugged terrain; all which are excellent environment to steal anyone’s attention. Jesus was alone with His thoughts and the pestering pecking of the devil. Jesus had the voice of his belly telling him to eat. The voice of satan tempting him with legit things Jesus would love. You have to remember; it’s not temptation if you don’t want it. You can entice me with popcorn long before you can lure me with chocolate. I know. I’m weird.
He could operate in such a sticky environment because of the WAY He went into the wilderness, FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, and zeroed in on His Father. When we concentrate on the breath of God, we will Hear His Whispers loud and clear. We may not be able to turn the volume down on the other noises lobbing for our attention-like insults and unkind words, the worlds opposing view and the accuser's lies, but we can turn a whisper up by getting closer to the one who is speaking.