Do you ever wonder why texting is so much more convenient and yet a far less reliable source of communication? Texting is the Trojan horse of information transfer. Yet we all love it! I want to be clear on this fact. Millennials are not the only sufferers of this complex.
The Call – This concept of calling indicates that humans can and will hear God’s voice in some capacity.
Hearing God’s voice – the most obvious medium for this is scripture. We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and His revelation to Himself.
And somewhere between these two points, God’s voice and our ears, lies an ambiguous heap of questions.
The written Word – the Scriptures are our spiritual version of text messaging and quite literally the Bible is a text of messages sent by God to us.
How do hearing and reading differ?
Is reading the only means or the primary, penultimate means?
What does it really mean to know the voice of the Shepherd?
Why listen for and to God when I can just read His Word?
Real communion with God involves the entirety of you and Him. Prayerfully reading His Word, hearing His Word is an exercise of discipline which we can grow. It requires a very personal and sacrificial touch which isn’t much at all compared to the sacrifice of the Son on our behalf to be atoned with the Father and enjoying His joy by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit.
Obviously the true purpose of this post is not to dissect all the nuances of the texting versus calling debate. I’m referring to that debate to draw is into a much more serious conversation about calling. The way that Americans have largely opted for one style of communication is a bit reflective of the way we a approach or spiritual lives, specifically the upward call of God in Jesus in our lives.
Why texting won’t cut it. Here are 2 major problems we face when discerning the call of God and some hints at what we can do about them.
With the immediacy of connection in today’s world, the same can be seen in the quality of discipleship. We want to opt for this message like we do with our phones but the truth is we don’t actually read these texts.
We don’t want to have to put in the work to ponder what kind of God we must serve who has left us such personal detailed accounts.
We don’t want to wrestle with the Conviction of the Great Teacher, the Holy Spirit, as He illumines for us the text He breathed.
With a text, we can pretend we never really had time to look at it or didn’t realize we have responded.
We want to opt for emojis not because we’re visual learners but because communication is all about us.
If we have to take the time use words to describe our emotions, we risk investing too much that doesn’t instantaneously gratify us.
We really just like hearing and seeing that we got a text message. It messes with our endorphins. We get high off of this.
If only we knew all the chemical tractions that take place when we hear another’s voice, we might sometimes choose to listen this way.
If only we weren’t concerned with finding the magical verse or phrase of scripture that makes feel goose bumps, we might hear what God is really like. We might begin to fathom that Creator God left us messages and that he intended us to respond to them.
Hopefully, this has given you a few things to think about. What are some practical ways we can start to personally change these habits? I would love to hear (or read) your ideas.