Earlier this week I spoke to a friend who lives in a very remote part of the Highlands of Scotland. I wondered how he was coping with the extra isolation he was facing as a result of the current crisis.
I asked him if he was able to follow any of the church services that were available online. He said some of his friends were doing this but that he had decided not to. He went on to explain that he wanted to hear what God was saying to him personally in the silence of isolation – not what other people were saying.
When I put the phone down I felt as I had been in the presence of someone who had really learned how to listen and, even in the difficult personal circumstances he was facing, had been drawn closer to the heart of God. Not only so but he had a very clear revelation of the heart of God for his church in these times.
I strongly suspect that many of us fear such an approach. I am not condemning those of us who turn to the modern technology we have at our fingertips to help us through the current isolation by way of online preaching, encouragement and meetings. But I do suspect the possibility that many are using the “noise” of such things in order to avoid what they believe will be the pain of silence. In a moment when God may be saying “let my people be silent before me” are we in fact drowning out his voice with the voice of others?
The serious side of all of this is that if God wishes to speak, to reveal his heart by means of the current isolation, and we drown him out – we risk missing God’s “time” – with all the consequences that will bring.
“Come, let us worship Him. Everyone bow down;
kneel before the Eternal who made us.
For He is our God
and we are His people, the flock of His pasture,
His sheep protected and nurtured by His hand.
Today, if He speaks, hear His voice.
“Don’t harden your hearts …”
Psalm 95: 6 – 8