I don’t think it’s any secret we live in a world of information overload. We are daily inundated with input. From social media to news, television, blogs (like this one) and other sources, we are bombarded with words and thoughts and ideas. In fact, we now have a whole industry developing just to teach us how to filter through the information to find what’s meaningful.
We have done this in the church as well. We have tons of books, music and more at our fingertips. The internet has made even more information available through blogs (like this one), websites, e-books, even a whole site devoted to audio and print versions of sermons from the past and present.
But are we hearing God?
We are hearing a lot about God. We are reading a lot about God. We listen to music about God. But what about hearing from Him? Directly from Him. In this generation of unlimited information about God, the church is probably at a low point in talking to and hearing from Him. Most Christians hardly read their Bible or pray. A few minutes a day is the maximum we seem to be able to muster.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 warns us of a day when,
…they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Sounds like today. Mounds of teachers, mountains of music, all designed by an industry that must keep churning out content to stay in business. And it’s no wonder heresies and false doctrines thrive in a Christian culture where people are spoon fed words about God while rarely talking directly to Him.
I constantly have people asking me if I’ve read this book or that. And I usually just reply with a polite, “no, I haven’t read that one.” I’ve stopped really answering that question, because people seem to get offended when I tell them why I don’t read books. The truth is that I want to hear God, not what some man says about Him. I don’t need Moses bringing the law down from the mountain, I’ve been invited to the mountain to meet with God myself. Why would I want to get the message second hand when I can go straight to the source?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking teaching. God has anointed certain individuals to expound and explain scripture. But not at the expense of communing directly with the Father who desperately wants to speak to us. For most of my life it was just easier to have it fed to me than to dive into the hard work of dying to myself and actually hearing His voice.
Please, quit reading this blog, turn off the television or radio, and put down the book. You might be surprised what you hear when you have the courage to silence all the other voices so you can truly hear His.
God has so much to say to us. Sadly most of the church just isn’t listening.
#1 by Lorraine on March 8, 2011 - 3:02 PM
I sure agree that we need to be spending LOTS of time in the Word and prayer, meditating, memorizing, ruminating and generally digesting the Word, and cultivating our relationship with Jeus through prayer. I have been growing in these areas and really seeing the fruit – Praise God! However (you knew it was coming ;-), I do believe that selectively, there are some great books by great voices in the Body who are likewise taking seriously the call to the Word and prayer, to seeking the Face of God and seeking to see Him glorified in their lives – I think it’s a mistake to ignore all of these voices. In the past months, in addition to spending a ton of time in the Word, I have been digesting and being very blessed, helped and encouraged in my walk with Christ by Tozer, Piper, Chan and Carson et al. (also made possible because I watch zero TV). No, I don’t hang on their words as I do the Scripture, but I do look at the fruit of their lives and see a valid testimony and therefore validation (where Scripture confirms it) of their writings for my life. I appreciate your blog, brother, you have a great talent for short, sweet and to-the-point – thanks again for some great thoughts.
#2 by Dave Kirby on March 9, 2011 - 8:26 PM
I agree there are some great teachers out there (past and present), and many encourage me. I’m talking specifically about our laziness as the body of Christ in this generation. Let someone else do the hard work of sacrifice, seeking God, and tuning out the world. Then they can spoon feed it to me instead of me having to do the work. It’s almost like “outsourcing” my spiritual growth. 🙂
Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you are getting something out of what I’m writing.
#3 by Lorraine on March 12, 2011 - 12:02 AM
yeah, you are so right there. I see it all the time, and those same people actually BLAME the leadership for all their problems and lack of growth – but they won’t study, meditate or memorize for themselves. We have a dumbed-down church (I use the term lightly) these days, that’s for sure! Sucky bottles all ’round – no one has teeth for the steaks.
#4 by Charissa Steyn on March 9, 2011 - 7:51 AM
Thank you for this… so convicting…so true.
#5 by Dave Kirby on March 9, 2011 - 8:26 PM
You’re welcome. Thanks for reading.