Because the only way to fully realize God’s presence is to cut out noise and distractions.
I think God has a sense of humor, no irreverence intended. Not only have I seen it displayed in my own life many a time, but I believe Scripture shows this too. First because we have one and we are created in his image! But an instance from Scripture comes to mind as well.
The Philistines had captured the ark of God, which they set up beside their own god Dagon. Only to find their god face downward on the floor the next day, and the day after — but with his arms and head broken off! Then the people themselves got hemorrhoids! And they finally realized that God was against them and their god, and the ark needed to go. Just picture a bunch of hemorrhoid afflicted people running around trying to decided what to do with the ark!
Sometimes it just seems as though the Lord is saying, “So that’s what you think, huh? Well, I’ll show you!”
He did that with me yesterday, in a way. Not that I have any Dagon gods or other such statues in my house. But I often do allow other things to come before him. (Of course, I’m the only one who ever does that, right?) And I find that sometimes he has to knock them off my shelf!
We had tackled the rearranging of furniture, making room for the arrival of our new wardrobe. (And the much-needed storage space!) And while replacing books on shelves, I managed to knock our TV screen over. Like Dagon, there it lay, face down on the floor! So of course, I set it back up again, hoping it would still work. It didn’t, but just displayed lots of strange lines, squiggles, and cracks. My TV idol, in a sense, had lost its arms and head!
Now I suppose at this point, I should clarify. I don’t think TVs are necessarily idolatrous. I’m not trying to condemn anyone here!
But the funny thing is, I had felt that I needed to stop watching so many movies.
Even though they were all good, clean, wholesome movies, which is all that we can watch. Because it was only a DVD player connected to a computer screen. We couldn’t even get channels!
Not that I was wasting time doing it, as I usually multi-tasked doing other things as well. But I just watched the same DVDs over and over again. (Talk about boring! And dumb!)
But the main reason was because I knew deep in my heart that I needed to work at practicing the presence of God.
In case you’re unfamiliar with this spiritual discipli it simply means striving to be constantly aware of God’s presence and communicating with him throughout the day. In other words, I wanted more communion with him, to draw closer to him. And I realized mono-tasking was a necessary requirement toward achieving that goal. Bible study with TV noise in the background was not conducive to this!
The only way to be constantly aware of him was to cut out the noise and distractions.
Starting with the TV. And yes, the TV had an off button. But I didn’t seem to be too great at using it! I had actually prayed about this a lot during our month away from home (traveling in the USA). But I wondered how to present the idea of no TV to Hubby. And then what would we do with the TV? I had hoped to give it to friends. But now (much to my dismay) it’s going to a landfill. 😦 If only I had acted immediately upon our return, at least that could have been avoided!
So while I procrastinated and wavered the Lord, it seems, set about showing me that nothing in life could be set up beside him. And in a sense, proceeded to knock “my Dagon” to the ground!
Though at first angry and troubled with myself for not having obeyed, I was also grateful to the Lord. Grateful that he will always do whatever it takes to keep me on the path toward spiritual growth. Thankful, because I know if left to my own devices — I often continue to procrastinate, delay, or make excuses.
Do you want to grow closer to God? Hear his voice better, and feel that you’re coming to know him more and more? First, thank him that he wants our spiritual growth even more than we do. (And will even knock “our Dagons” to the ground if necessary!)