Is your God-signal getting faint?
Chances are you’re one of the millions of people who’ve come to use and appreciate the Global Positioning Satellite system, known as GPS. It’s a wonderful way to determine where you are, and help you get where you’re going. Who doesn’t love that! But a recent news story tells of a potentially serious problem with your GPS device.
It seems that a company wants to install a nationwide network of cellular towers that might interfere with the faint radio signals coming from the GPS satellites. If that happens, your trusty GPS device would be unable to “hear” the faint GPS signal from outer space, because it would be drowned out by the much stronger cellular signal from nearby.
So why am I telling you this? Because our lives are also guided by a type of GPS. It’s the faint signals we receive from God. Signals that inform us where we are, who we are, and which direction to go next. But those faint signals can often get drowned out by the strong signals around us. Signals that tell us we’re only as valuable as our looks, or our friends, or our portfolio. Signals that tell us that God is distant, or uncaring, or angry. Signals that tell us we should follow the crowd, and leave our values behind.
When that happens, we can find ourselves lost, confused, and headed in the wrong direction. So how do we keep it from happening? How do we ensure that the signals from God don’t get drowned out? Here are four suggestions:
- Move closer to God’s signal. It’s a simple as ten minutes of solitude spent listening to God. It’s like prayer without a to-do list for God. Just listening to him. Which at first will be hard, but over time will grow easier. You’ll find yourself moving closer to God. The closer you get to the source of a signal, the stronger it becomes.
- Install a filter. An electronic device uses a filter to sift through the competing signals and reject the ones you don’t need. God’s word often works like a filter. Anything that doesn’t match with what God has said about himself, or about you, gets rejected. Five minutes a day reading God’s word could be a gigantic step forward in receiving the signals you need from God.
- Look around. If you’re driving and you suspect your GPS isn’t doing its job, look at your surroundings. Sometimes a visual check will do wonders for navigation. In your spiritual journey, look around. Is your life where you want it to be? Do you like the things you see around you? Is your interior life headed in the right direction?
- Ask for directions. Sometimes the best way to confirm where you are and where you’re headed is to roll down the window and ask for an outside opinion. Find a spiritual friend (see the podcast from June 19, 2011 for details), and ask them where they think you are. Or if they see you moving in a healthy direction. Very often God can speak through spiritual friends…but we have to ask.
The signals from God are consistent, but rarely overpowering. They can get lost in the crowded, noisy lives we lead. So this week, if your signal from God is not clear, try one of the steps above to get back on track, and to reconnect with the God who made you.