Have you taken time to step back and recognize all the sources of noise in our daily lives? While technology has brought some wonderful advancement, it has also created numerous sources of noise that distract and detract from other aspects of our lives. Men tend to be drawn to these sources of noise as a way of filling the voids we find in our lives and we often use them as an escape mechanism from other responsibilities. HDTV, surround sound, DVD, MP3, Satellite radio, multifunctional cell phones, Internet/ Intranet, streaming video and sound, and the list goes on and on. We have become so inundated with gadgets that put noise in our lives that we are easily distracted from the critical aspect of making the daily connection with our Heavenly Father and applying His Word to the current challenges we face. When we allow this to happen, we begin to see a decline in our reliance on the safety and security that God provides for us. Satan has very effectively used this abundance of noise to negatively impact men’s spiritual lives. I want us to take a few minutes, close out the noise, and take a look at what God’s word tells us. I love the book of Psalms because it provides such wonderful words of encouragement and practical application to life’s challenges.
Psalm 91 really gives us a strong word picture of God’s desire for us. Verse 1and 2 tells us “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” These verses reinforce God’s presence and His desire to have us in His presence. When we begin to shut out the noise and look for the true source of peace and comfort we find ourselves being drawn into the presence of the Holy Father. God is always available to us and He rejoices when we make ourselves available to Him.
Verses 3&4 state “Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” These verses reinforce God’s protection over us. When we turn away from the incredible distraction caused by all the noise and turn towards our Heavenly Father, we find a much greater feeling of safety and we are relieved by the security that He brings into our lives. When we turn down the noise of the world and turn up our relationship with our Creator is when we grow in our faith and confidence in the powerful protection of Almighty God.
Verses 5&6 tell us “You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” While the noise can create a lot of anxiety and fear, God’s desire is that even when there is chaos in the world around us that there is a peace in our lives that cannot be explained in human terms. Even when dealing with the unknown we can have peace because we know the One that is ultimately in total control of the entire universe.
Verses 7-10 state “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.” God has an eternal perspective and when we avoid the noise and focus on His perspective then we live our lives with an eternal view. The noise wants us to buy into immediate gratification and short term focus but God’s desire is that we live each day with an eternity mindset. This requires that we invest in ourselves and others to develop and maintain the proper focus on eternal matters. Nothing matters more than eternity! AMEN
Verses 11-13 tell us “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.” We have an Awesome God and He is capable of providing for all of our needs. When we eliminate the distraction of the noise we realize that so many of the issues we are struggling with in our lives are struggles only because we have not gone to the one source that can supply all of our needs. The distractions lead us to self-defined solutions that often fall short of the desired results. For us guys, this often leads to feelings of inadequacy and failure. It is when we turn from the distractions that we find there is a guaranteed way to experience success and that is by relying on the ultimate provider, God.
Verses 14-16 close the 91st Psalm with this “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” God has the power to overcome any adversity we may face in our lives. His desire is to lift us up and even through adversity, provide peace and joy to us. When we rely fully and completely on our Heavenly Father, even in difficult or troubling times, we bring glory and honor to Him.
Since I am well acquainted with how we men think, I am going to present this challenge in the way I think you will best understand it. I triple dog dare you to stop the noise for one week. I understand that your work may require that you use the technology to accomplish your assignments but after work go on a “media fast.” For one week do not use your computer, MP3, TV, stereo or any other form of noise. For the time you would spend with one of these sources of noise instead spend time studying God’s word, reading a book that can help your Spiritual growth, spending time with a Brother in Christ that you can mentor or you can be mentored by, spending time with your family discussing what you learned from your quiet time with God today or what your reading of God’s word revealed to you and certainly use some of this time praying and communing with just you and God. I am confident if you take this triple dog dare that you will discover that the noise around you has had a greater impact than you ever imagined. At the end of your week long media fast evaluate your relationship with your Heavenly Father and I would love to hear from you to share what you learn.