We increasingly live in a world dominated by messages, visual and oral and noise! So much noise!
During a prayer time God gave me a picture of a boom box, yes that’s right a boom box or a ghetto blaster!! If you didn’t live through the 80’s let me quickly explain…
A boom box is a cassette player, so big and chunky people carried them on their shoulder. I know it’s unbelievable to conceive of a time where you didn’t have headphones in and digital downloads but there was such a thing as music when you tangibly had something to hold, either a vinyl or a tape cassette, before it all went high tech and music became downloadable (yikes showing my age).
I guess back then, mugging wasn’t as big a deal as it is today with people walking around with their devices hidden away inside their jackets, but back then the motto was the bigger the better and if you’ve got it, flaunt it. This by the way, included hair and shoulder pads! Am I right?
So, back to the picture of the boom box and I love the way God uses things we see to talk to us and He uses the cultural references of the day or even the era you grew up in to communicate meaning that will be specific to you. Never underestimate the pictures He gives you and the meaning they conjure up for you because there is always a reason for them and He knows that you will understand the message.
As I saw the picture of the boom box with someone walking along with it on their shoulder it changed to the scene from the movie ‘Say Anything‘, where John Cusack is standing outside his girlfriend’s house, in front of his car, holding a boom box above his head, serenading her with their song! He isn’t shouting up to her to get her attention, he simply holds the boom box up and puts the sing on loud to attract her attention.
I felt God was saying that He has things He wants to tell us and that we need to turn our ear to Him and listen. Even though the image of the boom box is big, there is something about the bigness of God and Him having a voice that can boom but in this particular picture His voice was going to be like a whisper into our ear. This was a picture of an intimacy with the Father.
Mark 4:9-12 MSG,
9 “Are you listening to this? Really listening?” 10-12 When they were off by themselves, those who were close to him, along with the Twelve, asked about the stories. He told them, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom—you know how it works. But to those who can’t see it yet, everything comes in stories, creating readiness, nudging them toward receptive insight. These are people—
Whose eyes are open but don’t see a thing,
Whose ears are open but don’t understand a word,
Who avoid making an about-face and getting forgiven.”
He wants to communicate with you today and has things He wants to whisper into your ear that you will take deep into your very being.
Are you listening, really listening?
As you take what God whispers to you through your quiet, intimate times with Him you will begin to be the message He wishes to communicate through you.
Just as in the picture the boom box is held up high and no words are spoken as the song is played.
This is the picture of your life laid down for Him. He will use you as an instrument to communicate the message He has put in you and sometimes you won’t need to Say Anything because you have become the message. It will be clear to people as they look on that you have been with Jesus and it will serenade them and point them towards the writer of the song that plays through you.
For some people you will be the only gospel they ever read (I’m not sure of the author of this quote but it’s so true)! I heard Phil Wilthew from Kings Arms Church, Bedford, preach on developing a Fathering Culture recently, and something he said really struck me, and what a provocation it is;
“Be the message before you give the message!”
What is the message someone will read when looking at your life?
As Phil said, we are living letters to the people around us, from God. This comes with a sense of accountability and privilege. Our lives, simple or dramatic, can be a vehicle for others to encounter God and catch a glimpse of our heavenly Father through us.
I don’t know about you but I want people to see the kingdom when they look at my life, this means that I am someone who is joyful, compassionate, approachable, faithful, a good listener, trustworthy, full of integrity, hope and peace in the midst of difficult times and a person who people gravitate towards when they need someone to hear them and care.
I want my life to have a soundtrack that honours the Father, demonstrates the love and humility of Jesus and pulses with the power of the Holy Spirit as atmospheres shift when I’m present, situations get unlocked, fear and darkness have to flee, life comes into the room and hope along with it.
I want my life to bring God all the glory because He is so worthy. You cannot exaggerate the goodness of God and I want my life to be a living testimony of His goodness in all seasons.
So, my greatest honour and joy is to turn my ear to Papa who has so much He wants to whisper into my ear and yours. All we need to do is get quiet with Him and tune into His frequency.
Even during your everyday you can stop and listen. Turn your affection towards Him and listen as He whispers His sweet words deep into your very being and watch and see how they play out in your life.
I am particularly loving this song at the moment by Sean Feucht and Kristene Dimarco called Thirst and I am going to leave it right here for you. I find that when I play this I can sense the Father and He cannot resist our hunger and thirst for his presence.
What is God whispering in your ear today?