Friday, June 10, 2011

Busy Signal

Remember the busy signal?  That annoying little "Beep...Beep...Beep..." we'd get when we called someone back in the day before call waiting?  Maybe you're reading this and you have no idea what I'm talking about...that makes me feel very old. (smile)  Anyway, I had a thought the other day about that busy signal because I felt like God was trying to "download" some things into my heart and mind and when He would try, He would hear that "busy signal".

Oh, I know I'm supposed to slow down and listen.  I know I shouldn't over-commit.  I know I should prioritize.  Heck, many of my blogs are about those very things.  You'll find in my life that most of my blogs are written because I'm dealing with some things and when I blog it helps me to sort things out, communicate what I'm learning and it gives me the added accountability of throwing it out there for the world to see (not that the world is reading my blogs...haha...but I digress...)

This morning I was trying to focus in my quiet time with the Lord but first I decided I would open my computer to check my email since I get several quality devotionals sent to my inbox each morning.  I love reading them.  The only problem is, often when I open my laptop, I get sucked into distraction and before I realize it, my "quiet time" has turned into anything but quiet time.  I mean, the room is quiet, but my mind is not.  I've checked my email, my facebook, my twitter and I've caught up with the world's news.  But that time spent, quiet in the presence of Almighty God, is absent and I feel it in my spirit.  I begin to grieve.  I've done it again.  My bible is lying right beside me, unopened.  My heart sinks.

Maybe that is why I feel like when God is ready to "download" some important truths, some foundational precepts, into my heart and mind but He keeps finding a busy signal.  My mind is busy.  So busy, in fact, that I often forget what I'm doing and go off on little rabbit trails in my mind that take me far from the presence of God.  Can you relate to this at all or am I alone in this struggle?  I have a feeling I'm not, though I may not hear from you because you're struggling with this too but maybe you're like me and don't want to admit it. (smile) 

I read this verse the other day and it sent shivers up my spine:  Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink He will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, "This is the way you should go", whether to the right or to the left.  Then you will destroy all of your silver idols and your precious gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags, saying to them, "Good riddance!" (Isaiah 30:20-22)

So...what was it about this verse that sent shivers up my spine?  Well, it was the part that says, then you will destroy all of your silver idols...".  My MacBook Pro is silver.  And it's an idol to me when I choose to spend time with it before I spend time with my God.  Isaiah was saying that once you've experienced the presence of God and the leading of God, you will do away with those silver idols out of a pure desire to hear from Him.  Once you've tasted what it's like to be in the presence of God, nothing else can compare!  Please hear me...I'm not trying to be legalistic.  I hate legalism.  I don't believe computers are bad at all - but I do believe that when we choose to use them over spending time with God, that is wrong.  It eats my time up like a moth on cloth.  It distracts me and prevents me from experiencing true intimacy with God.  So, at times, it is my "silver idol" and it must be destroyed.

Now, please don't think this is as drastic as it sounds.  I'm not going to go blow up my MacBook Pro.  I'm not even going to get rid of it - I need it for the work I do.  But today I'm going to promise God in the presence of those who read my blog, that I will not open it until I've spent my quiet time with Him.  I can feel the difference on those days when He is first and I need that daily.  I'm deceiving myself if I think for one moment that I can do this without Him!  I need the accountability and I need the focus. 

I know He has much to show me and download into my heart and mind and until the busy signal is gone, it will evade me.  So I'm going to free up the line.  I'm going to free up my heart.  I'm going to free up my ears to hear from Him.  Once I've heard from Him, I know I can freely open my silver MacBook Pro and as I hear from the world, my facebook friends, my tweeters and the news, I will be hearing it through the filter of His Truth.

I can already hear Him saying, "I have so much more for you.  You only have to be still and listen."

So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God.  Blessed are those who wait for His help.  (Isaiah 30:18)


Kendra said...

Oh friend!! I find this SOOOOO true in my own life! I can BE in His Word, READING His love notes to me, and my mind STILL goes boomeranging from one empty thought to another :( It makes me wonder if He doesn't get that dreaded recording "We're sorry...the number you've dialed has been disconnected..." !! One devotional I've picked up has been FABulous in teaching me to be still in His presence, and has active steps for me to follow, ...kinda like a "Being Quiet for Dummies" :) It's "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young, and while my mind still goes chasing those shiny objects sometimes, I now know how to take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ :)
Thanks for's GREAT to know I'm not alone in this struggle!!!

Leslie Nease said...

I love Jesus Calling!! It's one of my all-time favorites. I've read it about 3 years in a row! haha Thanks so much for your encouragement! :)

Jamie said...

So true Leslie! I am so glad that this morning was one of those mornings where I rolled over and picked up my Jesus Calling and the Word before I grabbed my iphone to check Facebook :) I have been dealing with the same thing and that is why this morning I finally got it right! (ok, have to stop right here and I sit here and type one of my Bibles just fell off my shelf and hit me right on the head...thanks for the subtle hint Lord and for knocking out any pride..haha!)Anyways, it is crazy how easy it is to become sidetracked. I don't know why I continuously convince myself that my good intentions will be enough...they never are. As I read this morning in Hebrews numerous times it says that if we hear His voice we are to not harden our hearts and I realize that is exactly what I've been doing...Yes Lord, I hear you but I'll get back to you later on my time. That is nothing short of disobedience and rebellion and I am definitely trying to work on that. I want my days to be filtered through the truth of God's word and not my own thoughts. So, you're not in this alone. I believe as believers, we're ALL with you! Thanks for your encouragement, honesty and for letting us all in your head through your blog :)

Leslie Nease said...

Jamie, thank you so much. Your honesty and transparency is wonderful and so encouraging!! :) Now...I can't wait to see what we all learn from Him as we "destroy our silver idols" and focus on Him. Good riddance!

BarbRyan said...

I could have written this blog verbatim myself. I have often walked past the laptop at 6:30, thinking, what harm will it be if I do things out of order, and then I think of Jesus sitting at the table, because I do feed the dogs, and get my coffee before I sit down with him.....and those mornings I decide to open the laptop, I feel like he's sitting at the table smiling, drumming his fingers to this cool beat and I'm oblivious! I suffer great angst when I do this! So, thanks for sharing, I'll just copy your blog and say ditto and post it to mine! LOL! :)

Leslie Nease said...

Barb, thank you for sharing your story and for being so open! :) I totally get it. I love the image of Jesus sitting at the table waiting on has actually crossed my mind before, too. Maybe that's exactly what He's doing during those times? Oh, how that breaks my heart! But no more...I am so thrilled that I have broken through this stronghold (by His grace and mercy, of course!) - I will seek Him first and everything else will be added to me. :)

Hephzibah said...

Thanks Leslie,

I am writing from Nigeria, Africa.

My quiet got disrupted many months ago and I've been suffering the consequences. I've been trying to 'get back in' but distractions have been my bane.

This morning, I was so determined to do something about it that I goggled 'quality quiet time' (instead of reading the Bible). Your piece attracted me and your experience was exactly mine especially with my iPad.

Your words have greatly encouraged me this morning. I'm confident that, if you got thru it I will too, by His grace!

God bless you.


Leslie Nease said...

Welcome to my blog my friend! I'm so encouraged that you found this and it spoke to your heart today. Praying you will seek Him first in each and every day and that you will find incredible rest in His presence!


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