Wednesday, February 25

Turn Off the Radio - Part 3

How many noisy things have been added to our planet since 1900? Think through the inventions of just the past 109 years and consider the amount of noise we have introduced. Consider the following noise makers:
Alarm clocks
Video games
Air Conditioning Units

Astounding isn’t it? It is a wonder that more people do not go off the reservation in craziness! It is a wonder that we even WANT to have music on in our cars!!!

Finding a place where we can have total silence might be near impossible today. We might not be able to remove the planes – like the one that just flew over my house …. Probably a Cessna based on the propeller sound – or the cars BUT we can remove the people noises and the radios / iPods, etc. if we will make choices.

Now, let’s back up 2009 years and consider the noises Jesus had to deal with. What was His input? What did he have to manage? No radios or TVs. No computers or airplanes. Jesus had to manage the noise and input of people. If He were to hear God speak, if He were to be on the same page as his heavenly Father then He had to carve out times of silence and aloneness. He had to get away!

Now surely you are making the connection here. If Jesus had to get away to be able to hear the Father and if He had way less noise makers than we have then what must we do? We have got to be ruthless with the things that distract us. We have to be ruthless with the noise makers in our lives. We have to carve out times and places to get away and listen. We have to turn something off!

Read: Mark 1:29-37
29 Immediately, when they had come out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30Now Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31He came and took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she served them. 32At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to him all who were sick, and those who were possessed by demons. 33All the city was gathered together at the door. 34He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. He didn’t allow the demons to speak, because they knew him.
35Early in the morning, while it was still dark, he rose up and went out, and departed into a deserted place, and prayed there. 36Simon and those who were with him followed after him; 37and they found him, and told him, “Everyone is looking for you.”

Consider the noise and input Jesus was encountering in this passage. Focus in on verses 32 & 33 as you consider His busy world and all its noise. Try to hear it. Try to feel it. How exhausted would you be if this was your evening at someone else’s home after a long day at work?

After the evening he had just had, after all the input, what does He do? He retreats! He pulls back! He gets alone! He blocks out the noise and distractions! Pay attention to the details of Jesus’ retreat in verse 35.
• Early in the morning
• Still dark
• Deserted place

Why such a radical departure? Why early? Why dark? Why deserted? To get away from noise and people so he can hear His Father! So He could pray. So He could get his “things to do” list from the Father. So He could find strength.

I always found it interesting that Jesus was in this deserted place and yet His disciples knew where to find Him. Verse 36 says they found Him. Clearly Jesus had worn out a path to His place of prayer and they knew it. Getting alone and turning off the noise makers in His world was a REGULAR CUSTOM.

So what? What do you do with this? Well, if Jesus had to find places to get away and turn it all off, don’t we have the same need? Sure we do. Will you commit today to take a mini retreat tonight, tomorrow or by the weekend? You need to pick a place and a time and then show up. Pick a park or a place in your home. Find a deserted place and pray. Read your Bible. Listen to God, your Father. He’s talking.

Will you take my challenge to turn off the radio this week? Let’s try to slow down and see if we don’t run into a God that wants us to know Him.

Have a God-revealing week.