Timely Nuggets Series: Hearing God amidst the Chaos
In a time of information overload, today’s Christian must learn to sift through the noise and hear God speak. What you hear influences how you think and ultimately what you say. If we are not alive to what God is saying, we may find ourselves thinking and talking like the world, whilst this may get us likes, claps and generate a following on social media to be envied, it will inevitably cause a disconnect in our relationship with God.
In 1 Kings 19 the prophet Elijah faced an existential crisis, his very life was in danger, his faith and way of life were under siege. Overwhelmed with fear and heavy laden with the sense of loneliness he retreated and went into hiding. The words resonating in his head was that he was alone and was being hunted. I suspect that Elijah may have wondered how he could continue as a prophet after all a prophet was called to tell people what God was saying, was set apart as a mouthpiece of God to the nations and in his times would have been revered. His words would have been well received and people would have taken on board his advice and course-corrected on his say so. Now simply showing his face would have meant his life, the one who fearlessly stood before kings found himself on the run, adrift and questioning his purpose. Anyone paying attention will have determined that the tide had seemingly irreversibly turned to the point where Elijah’s faith placed him at odds with the mainstream views, was he still relevant?
The world may sometimes feel that way to today’s Christian. The freedom to freely express our faith may increasingly come at a cost and whilst in most western nations this may not literally mean your life is at risk, mainstream societal views increasingly challenge some fundamental tenets of the Christian faith. We live in a world where it is increasingly unpopular to espouse certain Christian principles and viewpoints. The Christian voice is increasingly silenced and hounded as being unacceptable, restrictive, discriminatory, prejudiced, unscientific and generally improbable. Invariably this leads to more and more Christian’s retreating from public engagements that engage their faith, doubt creeps in about their relevance. Like Elijah more and more feel overwhelmed by the onslaught of negativity and vitriol and begin to wonder if they can actually be effective in the fundamental calling to go and preach the good news to all of creation.
Over a series of blog posts, we will explore some of the challenges the modern Christian faces, unpack some of the decisions we make as a result of those challenges and how we can recalibrate by learning to identify God’s ever-present voice.