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-Billy Graham
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01
SEP
2009

Noise: the slow spiritual death


I've been thinking a lot lately about noise - the noise of life.  The little things and the big things that we do as we go about our day that aren't completely necessary to our calling.  How much of our day is spent doing things that don't have an eternal value, or are necessary to enable us to do things that have an eternal value?

I'm discovering that I feel my life is sometimes full of noise.  My schedule fills up with things that seem necessary, but ultimately, I can't always justify the busyness as central to my calling or even identify where the noise seems to be coming from.  But I do know that this noise contributes to a slow and painful spiritual death.  And I also know that I am disliking this noise every day and desiring more and more to live a simple life with only one desire: loving God.  After all, we can spend years searching for God's "will" or directional calling for our lives, but a good 90% of His will for our lives is already known: to love Him!

So why is it so easy to get caught up in the noise of the world?  To wonder where time has gone, as if you seem to be sitting still while it passes you by?  There are times when I feel very tempted to just throw out some of my scheduled or "important" obligations to spend some time with God.  Or maybe to forget sleep for a while and spend the night in His presence if that's what it takes.

When God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden to guard, protect and keep it, life was good.  But not just good.  It was perfect.  They didn't have to spend the day in a cubicle working for corporate America, they didn't have a calendar on their computer that laid out where they must spend each hour of their day, and they certainly didn't have days full of unproductive, non-eternal waste.  They simply loved God and enjoyed His presence.

And they knew Him.  The word used for "knew" in Genesis 4:1 and Genesis 4:25 is the Hebrew word yada, which means to know intimately on a level so great that it's incomprehendable to our minds.  They didn't just know of God, or know Him as an acquaintance.  Adam and Eve intimately knew God and dwelled in His very presence every second of every day.  They knew His love and presence in such a way that it passed all knowledge, and every single thing they needed God gave them.  It was absolute perfection!

The bottom line is that I'm convinced that today most of the church does not truly know God.  We can't recognize His presence in our lives.  If God stopped showing up to church, most people probably wouldn't notice.  And if God showed up in extreme power, half of the church would probably be scared half to death and leave.  But how wrong is that?  It's the same as saying a child won't notice when their father leaves the family, or another child being frightened at the presence of dad.

I'm absolutely convinced that we need to be 100% sold out for Jesus, doing every single thing possible to love Him with everything we have.  Nothing else matters.  We need to live for ONE THING and one thing only: to love God.  Why is it always so hard?