During church, Christian conferences, and Bible studies I always seek
a word from the Lord. These times I expect Him to speak to me. At a
recent conference, “Beautiful,” I was not disappointed. The messages reinforced
and built on what God has been teaching through the Dixie Fire, which has
been burning for two months.
The mural projected onto the walls of the sanctuary where we met, provided
one. It was a forest with lush green undergrowth, a familiar landscape when
summer began in the mountains where I live. In the mural, a woman walked
along a trail in solitude. Whenever I stay at a conference center designed for
such gatherings, I notice how little alcoves with benches have been built, and
small tables with a few chairs placed next to gurgling water providing
opportunity to step away for quiet time with the Lord. Manmade places of
solitude. Back home I would marvel that God had placed me in the woods
where I only needed to step out the backdoor.
But the fire burned hot and many of those treasured, natural places were
destroyed. Yet at the conference, the speaker, Jean McClure, taught from
Psalm 46 during one session and as she read the first sentence of the
scripture I was once again reminded that God alone is my refuge. He reminds
me of this when I become dismayed by the burned trees.
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”
Psalm 46:1 NLT
“How did David get to the point that He would not fear? He had learned
to tuck himself into the Lord,” said Jean.
I had learned a lot about “tucking” during my cancer treatment and during
every tribulation I have become better. How about you? Do you ever tuck
yourself into the Lord? He is our refuge. Places of solitude are fleeting,
lasting only a short time.
This was not the only message God had for me during the conference. I
wrote: “Jesus carried on His back the cross of Calvary to save millions
from the fires of hell.” That comment stuck. Earlier Jean had taught about
the beauty of people coming to Christ and how we should look for
opportunities to tell people about Jesus. The burned trees will now remind
me that millions are in danger of the fires of hell. When wildfire destroys a
forest, it provides a perfect picture of life apart from Jesus.
In the book of 1 Samuel, Eli the priest instructs the boy Samuel to say
“Speak, Lord, your servant is listening” if he hears his name called while
sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. As a Christian I am the
temple of the Holy Spirit so I too dwell in the presence of the Lord.
Therefore, the Lord can speak at any time. As I mentioned, I expect to hear
His voice when I am focused on a message. But Samuel was surprised.
I want to go about my day expectant. I want to walk as a
listening servant with a heart attitude of “speak.”
Contemplate Your Ways:
1-Is your ear always tuned to hear God’s voice? How does God speak
to you? What has He told you lately?
2-Where do you hear God’s voice most frequently? Why do you think
this is so?